Khar offers talks with Khurshid, Delhi cold

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Jan 18, 2013 00:22 IST

India is unenthused by Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar's offer of ministerial-level talks that came a day after she accused New Delhi of warmongering.

Though New Delhi sees Islamabad's instructions to its troops to respect ceasefire as a "positive" development, it is in favour of Directors General Military Operations sorting out the tensions along the Line of Control (LoC).

"Direct talks between counterparts don't just come in a jiffy; you sort of work up gradually or work towards something," foreign minister Salman Khurshid Thursday said of Rabbani's offer to talk to him.

"We, for instance, when we come in contact at our level, that becomes a base for the contact between heads of government to come together. So there is lot of work that you need to do."

"I think it's not just one statement or one response that works. You have to take up the whole structure with you…," said Khurshid.

The foreign minister along with his defence counterpart AK Antony briefed the cabinet about the situation along the LoC.

The defence ministry, too, is for a wait-and-watch approach -- to see if Pakistan's "change of mind" is reflected at the ground-level over a period of time.

Islamabad has been calling for a UN probe into the ceasefire violations and soldiers' killings, something which is unacceptable to New Delhi.

In a late night statement on Wednesday, Khar said, "Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to Line of Control with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the foreign ministers to sort out things."

A day earlier, Khar has accused India of "blowing things out of proportion".


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