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Indian response to maintaining LoC ceasefire awaited: FO

Updated Aug 30, 2013 06:37am


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The photo shows an Indian soldier near the Line of Control. — File photo
The photo shows an Indian soldier near the Line of Control. — File photo
Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry. — File photo
Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that it was yet to hear from India about measures proposed for maintaining ceasefire along the Line of Control.

“We have made some concrete proposals to the Indian side to help reduce the tension along the LoC. The Indian response is awaited,” Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at his weekly media briefing.

The measures proposed by Pakistan included reinforcing the existing political and military mechanisms and convening a meeting of senior diplomats and military officials for ensuring that ceasefire on LoC is observed.

Calm seems to have returned to the LoC after weeks of continuous shelling by Indian troops. Three Pakistani soldiers and two civilians were killed in the attacks.

The two countries have a ceasefire accord that has been left in tatters since the start of this year because of repeated hostilities — more importantly the incidents this month since August 6 and breaches of ceasefire in January.

The skirmishes renewed strains in bilateral relations and impeded the progress towards normalisation of ties. The LoC hostilities in January left the peace talks on ice and as the new government prepared to revive the dialogue, the latest episode has further delayed its resumption.

The events have also left an expected meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session next month, in a limbo.

The uncertainty about the prospects of the Sharif-Singh meeting was evident as spokesman Chaudhry once again said: “Should an opportunity arise we believe that such a contact between the leadership of two countries will be a useful occasion to discuss the steps required to improve relations.”

And while the political leaders on both sides are not directly talking to each other for defusing tensions, the job for finding a way out looks to have been left for Track-II.

Ambassadors Shahryar Khan and S.K. Lamba, the Track II pointsmen for Pakistan and India, respectively, are preparing to meet in Dubai. The two, Mr Chaudhry said, had been regularly interacting with each other since Mr Shahryar’s appointment last month.

Mr Shahryar has earlier visited India as PM Sharif’s special envoy.

SYRIA: The Foreign Office expressed concern over violence in Syria and condemned the use of chemical weapons.

Urging Western countries that are raring to attack Syria to show restraint, Pakistan, which is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, said it was important to wait for the outcome of a UN probe that is currently under way to ascertain the facts about the use of chemical weapons.

A team of UN inspectors, currently in Syria for investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons, is leaving the violence-wrecked country on Saturday.

“Pakistan believes that sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected. Use of force must be avoided at all costs as the people of Syria have already suffered enormously,” the spokesman said.

Pakistan’s position, he said, was guided by the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-intervention in internal affairs.

SCO SUMMIT: Pakistan’s delegation to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit being held on Sept 13 in Kyrgyzstan would be led by Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

Pakistan is currently an observer state and is seeking a full membership status in the SCO.


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Comments (5) Closed

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 07:51pm

Look at who is talking about protecting the sanctity of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.........Pakistan, the most serial violator of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. What a joke.

Anoop Aug 30, 2013 08:19pm

5 heads for 5.

Although all life is precious, the Army had to act this way for troop morale.

If Pakistani Army wants to send in infiltrators, this summer is not the time. It'll have to wait for next year.

Muhammad Ahmed Mufti Aug 30, 2013 09:56pm

With Indian Rupee loosing its value sharply against US Dollar and investers fleeing Indian market , keeping LOC calm is in Indian interest.

javed Sep 01, 2013 08:15am

@Muhammad Ahmed Mufti: ur totaly wrong mr mufti indian rupee gain back its position wht abt pakistan rupee still degrow with no growth in country its pakistan to make loc calm other wise again a new bangladesh form

Anup Sep 01, 2013 08:40am

Rather than jumping up and down with love and hate, both sides need to think logically and practically about all issues. I think they need to look for short, mid and long term solutions with available priorities/issues. First thing is about establishing the faithful environment for peace by using short measures like reducing LOC tension and reducing proxy war. Mid term measures may include many bigger issues and in longer term they can think about trade-route and other issues for enhancing economical relations. Any knee-jerk reactions from any side can cause a bigger damage to the progress. On Pakistani side especially rather offering too much of love and then next day talking about nuclear war will not help the cause. Rather than offering too much of love, they should offer whatever is practical with all inputs from their army and other establishments. As, Pakistani politicians start talking in too lenient about India it may not go well with their establishments. So, rather hurrying up the process focus should be on concrete measures. On Indian side, media needs to reduce their Pak-phobia and talk more on concrete measures. At the end of day its about both sides and about a win-win solution. Peace is the only option to uplift the poor people on both sides.