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Cannot have business as usual with Pakistan: PM on killing of Indian soldiers

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday that there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan if incidents like killing of Indians this goes on.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Breaking his silence on the barbaric killing of two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday that there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan if incidents like these continue.

In his first public remarks on the January 8 incident on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in which two soldiers were killed and bodies mutilated, Singh said, "After this barbaric act there cannot be business as usual (with Pakistan)."

Speaking off the camera to journalists in the national capital on the occasion of Army Day reception hosted by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh, the PM when asked about options vis-a-vis Pakistan, said, “it cannot be discussed in the open.”

However, talking in a tough language, he added, “Those responsible for this crime (of mutilating soldiers` bodies) will have to be brought to book.” Asked about Pakistan being in denial mode, Manmohan Singh said, “I hope Pakistan realises this".

The brutal killing and beheading of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani Army has left the nation shocked and outraged. In fact the Pakistanis after beheading the two soldiers carried the head of Lance Naik Hemraj along with them. The family of the Lance Naik has been since then asking the government to put pressure on Pakistani authorities to return the head of the martyr.

The Prime Minister had yesterday talked to senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and assured them of keeping the Opposition in loop about decisions relating to Pakistan. The saffron party had criticised the PM for his silence on the contentious issue and not sending a strong message to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Army Chief Bikram Singh, while addressing the press yesterday did talk in a tough language, warning Pakistan of similar consequences. Without mincing words he said that ‘India reserved the right to retaliate at the time and place of its choosing’.

The ceasefire violation by Pakistan and the heinous killing of Indians at LoC is threatening to derail bilateral relations between the two neighbours with India hardening its position on the issue. India today put on hold the operationalisation of visa on arrival for senior citizens of Pakistan amid mounting tension on the LoC. At the same time all nine Pakistani players taking part in the Hockey India League are returning home following threats to the players from Shiv Sena in Mumbai.

This clearly indicates that the relationship between the two South Asian neighbours is at an all time low.