Cannot be business as usual with Pakistan: PM

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 15, 2013 15:12 hrs

New Delhi: Amid growing tensions between Indian and Pakistan over the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday broke his silence and said there could not be 'business as usual' with the nuclear-armed neighbour.

"After this barbaric act there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan," Singh told media.

"What happened at the Line of Control (LoC) is unacceptable," he said.

"I hope Pakistan will bring the perpetrators to book," he said.

Singh reportedly made the comments on the sidelines of the 65th Indian Army Day.

Ties between the two nuclear armed neighbours deteriorated last week over border firing and killing of two Indian soldiers, including the beheading of one of the martyrs by Pakistani troops.

Pakistan has, however, denied its soldiers killed or beheaded any Indian soldiers.

Two Pakistani soldiers also died, reports said.

PM has understood nation's mood, says BJP

The BJP on Tuesday lauded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for talking tough with Pakistan, saying he had understood the mood of the nation after the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers.

Referring to the Jan 8 killing of two soldiers by Pakistanis near the Jammu and Kashmir border, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said Manmohan Singh's "most important statement" was that there could no more business as usual with Islamabad.

She said the incident was "so barbaric" that the prime minister had "understood the mood of the country".

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said she spoke to National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon a day after the soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops.

One of the soldiers was beheaded and his head carried away, and the other soldier's body was mutilated.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said the government's future action -- diplomatic and tactical -- "should be left to the foreign office and the national security establishment".

Why it took so long for PM to react, asks BJP

The BJP wondered why it took "so long" for the Prime Minister to respond to the "barbaric" beheading of an Indian soldier along the Line of Control and asked if his reaction on Tuesday was out of conviction or compulsion.

The opposition party said it was able to make the government understand the mood of the nation seeking tough measures against Pakistan in the wake of the barbaric incident.

"The fact that it has taken so long for PM to react makes me wonder if today's reaction is out of conviction or out of compulsion. I hope this marks the burial of the Sharm-al- Sheikh line," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said expressing skepticism over the Prime Minister's statement.

Expressing satisfaction over the talks with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, "I can say that the meeting was successful...we were able to make the Prime Minister understand the mood of the nation."

Talking about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tough message to Pakistan that there cannot be business as usual with it in the aftermath of the "barbaric" beheading of an Indian soldier, Swaraj said, "I felt happy, even if it is late, the Prime Minister has understood the mood of the nation and what the opposition had talked about."

The Prime Minister had earlier deputed NSA Shivshankar Menon to brief Leaders of Opposition in Parliament on the situation arising out of the incident along the LoC and the latter had an hour-long meeting with the two in the morning.

Swaraj said during their meeting with Menon, they had conveyed to him that protests and displeasure was fine, but the government should understand the anger of the nation and sought tough measures against the neighbouring country.

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