'Stop sending terrorists, will pull back guns'

Updated on Dec 30, 2011 02:35 AM IST

India will consider the Pakistani proposal to withdraw heavy artilleries from the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, only if Pakistan stops cross-border infiltration bids.

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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

India will consider the Pakistani proposal to withdraw heavy artilleries from the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, only if Pakistan stops cross-border infiltration bids.

The Pakistani proposal to pull back artillery pieces of above 120 mm calibre by 30 km from the LoC and the Indian response came during the two-day Indo-Pakistan conventional and nuclear CBMs dialogue that began in Islamabad on Monday.

Government sources said the Pakistani side, led by Munawar Saeed Bhatti, additional secretary in the foreign ministry, made the proposal to his Indian counterpart, Yash Sinha, to strengthen the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

But the Indian concern is if it pulls back its 130-mm and 155-mm Bofors artillery guns by 30 km, it will not be able to target the terrorist launch-pads across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, as the field guns have a maximum range of 27-28 km with normal-range shells.

The artilleries also act as a deterrent against any Pakistani army adventure.

During discussions with joint secretary DB Venkatesh Varma on nuclear CBMs, Bhatti expressed concern over the threat posed by India's nuclear and conventional arsenal to Pakistani capital Islamabad and indicated that there should be a broad parity in nuclear deterrence.

But New Delhi stuck to the position that its military and nuclear posture was aimed at countering threats, not only from South Asia but also beyond -- especially China.

Besides, it said the linkages between Pakistan and China through PoK meant that India had to be prepared for the two-front situation.

The two sides, however, extended two key agreements on the notification of ballistic missiles testing and reducing the risk of accidents related to nuclear weapons by five years.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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