India is unlikely to agree to Pakistan’s offer for Foreign-Minister-level talks between the two countries to defuse tension along the Line of Control in Kashmir, sources have said. The offer was made by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday night. But India is yet to formally respond to it.
Her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid will consult the Prime Minister on Pakistan’s offer, sources have said. He is said to have told the Cabinet today that sustained pressure from India had made Pakistan shift its stance from trying to internationalize the issue to seeking bilateral dialogue.
Sources said India has to decide through diplomatic channels what Pakistan wants to discuss and that though it favours engagement, talks might not happen at the ministerial level at all for now.
Ms Khar, who had lately said India is “war mongering”, and “Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to the LoC with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the foreign ministers.”
She said this soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there “cannot be business as usual” with Pakistan following the brutal killing of the two Indian soldiers, Lance Naik Hemraj Singh and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh along the LoC in Kashmir.