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HT Foreign Bureau , Hindustan Times
New Delhi/Karachi, December 30, 2008
India has not engaged in escalation, so where is the question of de-escalation? That was external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee’s response to his Pakistani colleague Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s suggestion that India should bring down the military temperature. “We have not escalated anything,” Mukherjee said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Qureshi, in a policy statement broadcast live on local television, said, “India should de-activate its forward air bases and relocate its ground forces to peacetime positions…this will send a positive signal and reduce tensions in the region.”

Mukherjee said any Indian troop movements near the border were part of a “normal winter exercise”.