Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday summarily rejected India’s claim that the Pakistan Army was responsible for the killing of two Indian Army jawans on the Indian side of the LoC.
Taking a belligerent stand, Khar said that the Pakistan government is appalled at the suggestion that Pakistan troops were involved in the incident and stressed that her country respects the ceasefire that is in force since 2003.
“The government has already given its response…we are appalled at some of the statements coming from India,” she told an Indian news channel, adding that the matter has left her a bit saddened.
“We want to respect the ceasefire of 2003; this is absolutely unacceptable for such allegations to be made. We have investigated the matter and we are sure that such an incident did not take place…,” Khar told CNN-IBN.
“We need to grow up and think…it is not Pakistan’s policy to do so (kill Indian soldiers on LoC) and that did not happen,” she said.
Openly challenging India, she further said that Pakistan is open to any third party investigation into the matter. “We are so sure of this that we can go and ask a third party to do an investigation. UN observers can come in and probe the entire matter.”
Khar’s confidence seems to stem from the fact that India will never allow third-party intervention between the two countries.
She went on to put the onus on India to investigate the killing of two jawans as it had happened inside Indian territory.
Here in New Delhi, the government seemed to be strongly advocating a tough line with Pakistan and demanded the culprits be brought to justice.
“…whatever has happened there (on the LoC) is a reality; we have clear evidence of that,” said Defence Minister AK Antony. However, it is clear that New Delhi is averse to burning the bridges that the two countries have built after the suspension of bilateral ties post 26/11.
The attack took place along the Line of Control(LoC) in Poonch district when Pakistanis came about 100 metres into the Indian territory and assaulted the patrol party.
Besides killing two, they also injured two other soldiers and took away their weapons and other belongings.
The heads of both the Indian soldiers -- Lance Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh -- were chopped off and one was taken away by the Pakistani intruders.
First Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 16:40