Prime Minister to decide on talks with Pakistan: Khurshid

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 13:55 hrs

New Delhi: Talks between India and Pakistan have not been frozen, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday while stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would decide on Islamabad's offer of foreign minister-level talks.

"The differences have to be resolved and for that we need to proceed with wisdom, keeping in mind the interest and sentiments of the nation. We will await the prime minister's direction in this regard," Khurshid told CNN-IBN news channel.

"Having said that, it is certainly something that we noted and something that we would look very carefully and let us see what is acceptable. Talks have not frozen between India and Pakistan."

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called for talks with Khurshid, saying that continued tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir was not in the interest of South Asian peace.

Khurshid said any problem between the two countries had to be solved by them only.

"What we have always maintained that there is a problem and we have to resolve among ourselves and we cannot be hoping and working towards finding somebody else to step in and resolve it."

Khurshid said that India was hopeful that Pakistan had understood the "strong message" of the Prime Minister, who Tuesday said it could not "be business as usual" following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers near the LoC, and would respond positively.

"An atmosphere is needed for the talks to go on. We are hopeful that Pakistan will understand the message sent by our Prime Minister," he said.

"Some signals are positive. What we heard from the military is welcoming. But we have to assess the overall situation," he added.

Ties between the two neighbours have been strained ever since the January 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.

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