Comments by Indian Army Chief 'very hostile', says Pak FM
Washington: The remarks made by Indian Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh following the beheading of an Indian soldier on the LoC last week were "very hostile", Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today, as she asked Indian leaders to "catch up" with developments in her country.
"We were not very pleasantly surprised by the comments that we heard from many political leaders in India also. I think this is what has changed in Pakistan where India needs to catch up," Khar said.
"After the comments by the army chief I am taken back a few 20 years," Khar said on the popular Charlie Rose Show of the PBS news channel.
"What did he say?" she was asked in follow up.
"Just very hostile comments," Khar said, adding she was referring to the comments made by the Indian Army chief.
Yesterday, Gen Singh issued a clear warning to Pakistan saying India reserves the right to retaliate at the "time and place" of its choosing.
Talking tough over the January 8 incident in Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir, he said the beheading was "unacceptable" and "most unpardonable" and the troops would respond immediately, aggressively and offensively if provoked.
Khar is in New York to attend a special session of the UN Security Council of which Pakistan is the Chairman for the month of January.
"I think Pakistan today presents a country which is very clear in its head as to how it wants to operate with its neighbours.
And the way we want to operate with our neighbours is to try and build on the trust to take care of and then build that trust enough to be able to build an environment in which we can take care of the disputes that we have on the dialogue table rather than through military statements and through military actions," Khar said.
Responding to a question on Kashmir, Khar said that she thinks the last two weeks have been rather discomforting.
"There were two soldiers who were injured by fighting which is 400 meters inside Pakistan's territory. One of them did not, could not sustain those injuries and passed away. We of course, created a concern, raised our concern with the Indians and asked for the normal mechanisms which are in place," she said.
"Now just two days after that or three days after that, we had an allegation which was made that two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani fighting which we looked into and we could find no evidence that Pakistani troops had done that. And then of course, there were extremely conflicting statements that the heads were decapitated," Khar said.
"The northern commander spokesperson who is the person on the ground said they weren't. Others said they were. So all of this -- and it led unfortunately into the domestic politics right after that," she noted.