Khurshid to consult with PM on Pak talk offer

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 06:19 hrs

New Delhi/Islamabad: Foreign minister Salman Khurshid will consult Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday on Pakistan's offer for foreign-minister level talks to check tension at the Line of Control, said NDTV, quoting sources.

According to the report, India would find out what is it that Pakistan exactly wants to discuss and the talks might not happen at the the ministerial level at all.

On Wednesday, Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar invited her Indian counterpart for talks to check the escalating tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in the wake of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to CNN, she said, "We would think the best way to deal with this instead of raising the rhetoric would be a political level discussion and I am open to have a dialouge with the external affairs minister of India. I invite him for that matter for a dialogue at the political level so that we can resolve the LoC issue and to ensure we continue to respect the ceasefire, which is absolutely crucial because if we start acting in this manner then we are going back into the history."

Also on Wednesday, the directors general of military operations of both the countries spoke on a hotline and agreed on the need to reduce the tension along the LoC.

There have been no reports of firing across the Line of Control since then.

Khar offers talks to defuse tension

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar late on Wednesday night suggested that she and her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid hold talks to defuse the tension building between the neighbours over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).

"Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to the LoC with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the foreign ministers," Ms Khar said in a statement.

"Rhetoric and ratcheting up of tensions is certainly counter-productive," she said.

The remarks came as India and Pakistan agreed to de-escalate the situation along LoC and the Director General of Military Operations of the two countries spoke to each other.

In New York yesterday, Ms Khar had accused India of "war mongering". She had made the remark after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there "cannot be business as usual" with Pakistan after the brutal killing of the two Indian soldiers, Lance Naik Hemraj Singh and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh.

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