NEW DELHI, Aug 15: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Pakistan on Thursday against “anti-India activity” as tensions rise over a deadly attack on Indian soldiers.

“India has always strived for friendship with its neighbouring countries,” Mr Singh said in an annual address marking India’s independence day, delivered from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in New Delhi.

“However, for relations with Pakistan to improve, it is essential they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity,” he said.

India blamed the killing of five of its soldiers in disputed Kashmir last week on the Pakistan Army.

The Indian leader condemned the attack as “dastardly” and said New Delhi would “take all possible steps to prevent” in future such incidents.

Islamabad has denied involvement of its soldiers in last week’s ambush and accused Indian soldiers of killing a pair of Pakistani civilians and wounding two.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged on Wednesday to respond to the intensifying friction with “restraint and responsibility”.

But the renewed tensions have jeopardised plans for what the two governments hoped might be a breakthrough encounter between the two leaders on the sidelines of a UN meeting in New York next month.

India’s main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that Mr Singh abandon tentative plans to meet Mr Sharif.

BJP leader and potential prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi accused Mr Singh on Thursday of failing to “talk tough” towards Pakistan.—Agencies

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