Onboard Air India One, Oct 2: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said that both India and Pakistan are taking appropriate steps to resolve the issue of cease-fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir at the military level.
Interacting with media onboard Air India One, which was returning with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Brunei and Indonesia, Khurshid said that having a composite dialogue with Islamabad is not feasible at this stage for obvious reasons, but added that both countries are looking to create the possibility of what he called a “resumed dialogue”.
He said that at this stage, the governments of India and Pakistan, and their Prime Ministers have thought it appropriate that matters relating to the LoC and ceasefire violations should be attended to by the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries, as they were the best persons and institutions to deal with what is essentially a defence matter.
“But, immediately the incidents at the Line of Control and the border have an extremely upsetting obvious content. And, our army is dealing with it. The Defence Minister is fully apprised and he is dealing with it. I can’t say this is conducive to a faster movement in normalization, but we certainly hope that what was agreed between the two Prime Ministers for a DGMO-level meeting will take place in the near future,” Khurshid said.
“I must make it very clear that we hadn’t reached a stage where the so-called resumption of talks. We used to have composite dialogue. And a composite dialogue was suspended and we began the resumed talks, resumed dialogue subsequently. But obviously, when at New York the two leaders met, the two Prime Ministers met; we hadn’t reached a stage of indicating any dates, timeline or a perspective on the resumed dialogue,” he added.
“But there are many routine things that are continuing and have been continuing, (and) they will continue. But, I think, what you are looking for is whether the political-level dialogue will take place. Both sides are aware that we (India) are going for an election now in a few months time, and obviously, how much political capital you invest at a time like at this, as we thought that it wasn’t appropriate when they were going to an election (in April-May 2013). It is something that the leaders will work out in due course,” Khurshid further said.
“I can certainly say that the incidents in the Line of Control are unwelcome. They obviously detract from the attempts that we both made to get back to a normal situation between Pakistan and India. We welcome the repeated signal given by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a better and a normal relationship with India. We didn’t hold back on responding to their request as far as power and gas was concerned. But you know it’s a long-term gestation matter,” he added. (ANI)