India and Pakistan on Thursday made guarded statements on whether the prime ministers of the two countries will keep their September meeting after the killing of of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid said in New Delhi it was not an appropriate time to say anything about the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, scheduled on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meet.
"Not in a position today to say anything because this is not the time or appropriate atmosphere in which we should be discussing talks. There will be lot of work necessary if we are to talk... but will it be conducive, we need to look at it," Khurshid said.
"Let's wait for the appropriate time. All the inputs have to be brought in, then we can take a call," he said.
Khurshid also said the prime minister was not distancing himself from any issue.
"The Prime Minister's Office or the prime minister will never distance from the prime minister's team. We have a job to do and we do it under the supervision and overall leadership of the prime minister."
"We as members of the cabinet are doing things which are specifically assigned to us. Prime minister is the overall incharge. Everything we do will finally go up to him and he will approve. If he thinks that whatever we do is wrong... he will tell us this is not acceptable. But we can't sort of not shoulder the responsibility given to us and then leave it to the prime minister... it is not correct," Khurshid told a news channel in New Delhi.
Pakistan PM expresses 'sadness'
Sharif, in a statement in Islambad, expressed "sadness" over the border clashes in Kashmir, and said India and Pakistan must take "effective steps" to restore normalcy on , frontier.
Sharif told foreign ministry officials here that he was sad over the incidents involving Pakistani and Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries.
"The prime minister said it was imperative for both India and Pakistan to take effective steps to ensure and restore ceasefire on the LoC," a Pakistan foreign ministry statement quoted him as saying.