LoC killings: Name and shame Pakistan, BJP tells govt

Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy asked the Central Government to name and shame Pakistan in light of the Poonch district ambush.

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Friday asked the Central Government to name and shame Pakistan in light of the Poonch district ambush by their troops which killed five Indian soldiers on Tuesday.

"We should name and shame Pakistan (for) the action of the Pakistani Army. This is the time the Indian government should mount pressure on Pakistan to say that Pakistan has done it and let`s use the world pressure to say that nothing has changed in Pakistan. This is what I have exactly demanded and the BJP has demanded. We should name and shame Pakistan, there shouldn`t be any question of talk at this stage," Rudy said.

While Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York in September, Tuesday`s incident along the Line of Control (LoC) has triggered extreme doubts over talks between the two countries taking place.

Rudy, on behalf of the BJP, demanded that talks should be suspended until and unless Pakistan publicly takes full responsibility for the killings along the LoC.

"The BJP strongly feels that unless and until the Pakistani government admits the hand of its soldiers in killing of the Indian soldiers on the border, I don`t see any reason why there should be any reason why there should be talks with Pakistan," Rudy said.

Targeting Defence Minister AK Antony`s initial statement in Parliament, Rudy said that it was damaging the morale of the Indian Army.

"There was an ambiguous statement made by the Defence Minister of this country, which did dilute the stand of the Indian government and did create confusion across the world. At the same time, we see Pakistan is also very keen for talks. We also find the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid very keen for talks. But the very fact that the statement in Parliament was manipulated (meant) it did have an impact on the morale of the entire armed forces and did hurt the sentiments of the country," Rudy added.

While Pakistan has denied the involvement of its troops in the incident, Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said that the intruders who killed the five Indian soldiers were "terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform."

Antony`s Wednesday statement had attracted a lot of flak, as it has contradicted the Indian Army`s account, which said that the perpetrators were "soldiers from the Pakistan Army". The BJP-led opposition had accused the Central Government of "giving the Pakistan Army a clean chit."

Antony, in his updated statement to both Houses of Parliament on Thursday said, "It is now clear that Specialist Forces of the Pakistan Army were involved in the attack. Those in Pakistan who are responsible for this tragedy, should not go unpunished. Our restraint should not be taken for granted."

"We all know that nothing happens from the Pakistan side of the LoC without the support, assistance, facilitation and often, direct involvement of the Pakistan Army. Pakistan must take steps to punish those responsible for the attack. Pakistan should also dismantle all terrorist apparatus on its soil," said Antony.

He also warned that attacks such as this will have consequences not only on the Line of Control (LoC), but also naturally on the (future) relationship with Pakistan.

He said that the Indian Government would not stand by the wayside and allow the sanctity of the LoC to be violated time and again.

"The capacity of our armed forces, the resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the LoC should not be doubted," Antony added.

Though his updated statement has been welcomed by the BJP, the opposition party has demanded that Parliamentary discussions focus on the incident and have asked for a suspension of talks with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday kept Islamabad guessing whether Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh would meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

"It should be welcome, but we have to proceed with caution," Khurshid told media here.

Khurshid responded to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s statement which expressed his desire to continue talks with India despite the attacks by his Army along the border.

The Pakistan Prime Minister also emphasised that while existing military to military channels could be more optimally utilised to prevent misunderstanding, there should not be allowing situation to escalate.

"Pakistan is prepared to discuss steps with India for further strengthening of existing mechanisms both at the political and military levels," he said, while stating that it is incumbent upon the leadership of both sides not to allow the situation to drift and to take steps to improve the atmosphere by engaging constructively with a view to building trust and confidence.


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