India, Pakistan discuss ways to 'de-escalate' tension | world | Hindustan Times
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India, Pakistan discuss ways to 'de-escalate' tension

world Updated: Dec 26, 2008 22:45 IST
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With India-Pakistan relations hitting a new low, Islamabad on Friday said there was a need to "de-escalate" the tension and it was awaiting a response to its proposals regarding the joint investigation of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The message was conveyed to Indian High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal by Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir during a meeting in the foreign office this evening.

"The Foreign Secretary called the Indian High Commissioner to the foreign office and discussed the current situation," Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told PTI.

Bashir "emphasised the need for de-escalating tensions" and for steps by India to "defuse the tensions", Sadiq said.

The foreign secretary also said Pakistan is awaiting a response from India for several proposals made in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, he added.

Pakistan has proposed that the two sides should conduct a joint investigation into the Mumbai attacks. It has suggested that a joint investigation commission headed by the national security advisors of the two countries should be set up.

Islamabad has also said it wants to send a high-level delegation led by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to New Delhi to discuss the modalities for a joint probe and the sharing of evidence and information about the Mumbai incident.

The meeting between Pal and Bashir took place against the backdrop of the movement of additional Pakistani troops to the Indian frontier in the wake of an escalation in tensions.

Reports said Pakistan had scaled down anti-militancy operations in its northwest to rush troops to the Line of Control in Kashmir and the international border. All leave for armed forces personnel was also cancelled.

India has blamed Pakistan-based elements, including the outlawed Lashker-e-Taiba, for the Mumbai attacks that killed over 180 people. It has asked Pakistan to crack down these elements instead of resorting to "war hysteria" to divert attention from the issue of countering terrorism.

Pakistan has said it is waiting for evidence from India to push forward its probe into the Mumbai incident.