LoC incidents won't affect peace process: Khurshid

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 09:40 hrs

Jaipur: Welcoming the "positive statements" coming from Pakistan for talks to de-escalate tensions along the border, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said the recent incidents won't affect the peace process between the two countries.

"There is a positive content in the statement that has come from Pakistan foreign minister and high commissioner to India. It is welcome and it should be getting an appropriate response from our side," Khurshid told reporters here.

He said the matter will come up for discussion at the three-day Congress Chintan Shivir here.

"Peace process is not going to be undermined by these incidents. We hope that we will find a resolution to all these matters and we have treated the whole issue with great care and the closest attention possible," Khurshid said.

"Peace process is something in which we have invested a lot...and it was done because it is strategically and tactically important for India's role in the world," he said.

On the talks offer by Pakistan, Khurshid said: "We are trying to work on it and the prime minister has been trying to ensure things remain in control and our concerns are addressed and situation doesn't deteriorate. All these things have to be kept in mind."

Khurshid had Thursday declined to commit himself to accepting Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's offer for bilateral talks, saying that India cannot move forward for talks just on the basis of "one statement".

Ties between the two neighbours have been strained ever since the Jan 6 killing of a Pakistani soldier allegedly in firing by Indian troops.

Two days later, Pakistani soldiers brutally killed two Indian soldiers, including beheading one of them, near the LoC.

Army intensifies night patrolling along LoC

The Indian Army has intensified night patrolling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to avert any untoward incident after the recent brutal killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops.

India denounced Pakistan on Wednesday (January 09) over a firefight at the LoC in which two Indian soldiers were killed.

India also summoned Pakistan's envoy in New Delhi to lodge a "strong protest", accusing a group of Pakistani soldiers, it said had crossed the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir of "barbaric and inhuman behaviour."

The Commanding Officer of the Third Rashtriya Rifles, Colonel D.K. Malik, said in Uri town of Baramulla district that the army has increased patrolling during night in order to avert any untoward incident.

"Right now we are focussing on the night patrolling as incidents like these happens during nights. Our soldiers patrol the area at different times. Sometimes they patrol through vehicles and sometimes they prefer walking.

"We also carry out patrolling for two days for surveillance or area domination where the soldiers carry food along with them. The people are very cooperative. We immediately take action whenever we receive any information," said Colonel Malik.

The ceasefire in Kashmir has held since it went into effect in November 2003, surviving even the crisis in ties after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 by Pakistan-based militants.

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