LeT shadow on India-Pakistan flare-up

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 18:52 hrs

India on Thursday said 26/11 mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed was spotted in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) a few days back, indicating that he could be behind the attack on Indian soldiers and beheading of a trooper along the Kashmir border this week.

Shinde confirmed that in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) area, 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed was present three four days back and talked with people, thus not completely ruling out Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) involvement on the border attack and LeT´s links with Pakistan army.

He, however, refused to comment on the matter directly.

However, despite growing tensions over the issue, Shinde said India will not cancel the new visa agreement it has entered with Pakistan and it will be carried out as per schedule.

"Whatever agreement we had entered that will be carried out," Shinde told reporters on Thursday.

Shinde and Pakistan Interior Minister A. Rehman Malik last month jointly operationalized the new Visa Agreement between the two countries.

The Visa-on-Arrival will come into effect from Jan 15, 2013 and the Group Tourist Visa from Mar 15, 2013.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon on Thursday said there has been an increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan over the last one year.

Speaking to media after BRICS Meeting of High Representatives on National Security here, Menon said: "There has been an increase in ceasefire violations. There been an increase in infiltration attempts, not only in the last few months."

"In 2012 there was an increase overall over 2011. That is a fact. And that is something we are dealing with, both ourselves and with the Pakistani authorities," he said.

Reacting to the recent killings of two Indian Army jawans by the Pakistani Army in Jammu and Kashmir, the NSA said: "I think it is quite clear. Government has said what it has to say on the event. You have a selection of adjectives - reprehensible, barbaric, dastardly, whatever you want."

"Sadly, it is not the first time this has happened. I hope it never happens again," he said.

India has also rejected Pakistan´s suggestion that the incident should be investigated by the United Nations (UN).

Speaking to reporters, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said: "That demand is rejected out of hand. We will not internationalise the issue nor go to the United Nations."

He called the incident as ´brutal´.

Pertinently, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday negated India´s claims that the Pakistani Army killed two Indian Army jawans in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, she said Pakistan was ready for a third party to verify their claims if "India doesn´t believe in its inquiry".

"We have ordered an independent investigation, but we are offering more, let a third party investigate the issue," Khar said.

The US has also asked the two neighbouring nations to resolve the issue through dialogues.

The Pakistani troops reportedly came about 100 metres into Indian territory and attacked the patrol party early on Tuesday morning.

The body of one of the soldiers was decapitated and was found without the head, media reports citing unnamed army sources said.

The Pakistan has negated India´s claims that the Pakistani Army killed two Indian Army jawans in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Skirmishes in the disputed territory Kashmir are not uncommon between the two nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars since gaining independence.

With India expressing outrage over the beheading of a soldier and killing of another along the Kashmir border by Pakistan, leaders in India acted angrily.

Social activist Anna Hazare, who once fought a war against the difficult neighbour, said India should teach Pakistan a lesson.

Anna Hazare on a Facebook post on his India Against Corruption account has demanded that India should "teach Pakistan a lesson" like it did in 1965 for the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

"What they have done is simply unacceptable. How can they mutilate and take away the head of our soldier? This cannot be tolerated by any person," Hazare told reporters.

"Pakistan seems to have forgotten the beating it took in the 1965 war with India. Don´t they remember how they begged for mercy when Lahore was bombed during that war? But on and off, it keeps raising its head against India. We want a repeat of 1965. Pakistan should be taught a lesson again," Hazare said.

The 75-year-old also expressed his willingness to go to the border and fight enemy soldiers.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said India should take revenge on Pakistan.

"Send the Indian military inside Pakistan and take revenge for the incident," Thackeray said in a statement in party mouthpiece Saamana on Thursday.

"Only then will it be a tribute to the martyrdom of the soldiers," he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and said it would not be able to take a tough decision on the matter as it is ´weak´.

"I spoke to National Security Adviser Mr S.S.Menon yesterday. I told him to convey to the Prime Minister that what has happened on the LOC is unacceptable.The Government must go in for tough measures and we will support the Government in such decisions.However, there is no response from the Government so far," Swaraj tweeted.

"Unfortunately, we have a very weak Government in the country. And weak Governments are incapable of taking tough decisions," she said.

"It is matter of honour for the country. It is question of the morale of our armed forces," she posted on Twitter.

"The Government has to act. And the Government has to act tough," Swaraj said.

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