Day after Hina Rabbani Khar pleads for peace, India snubs talks offer

Hina Rabbani

India does not favour talks between the Foreign Ministers to ease India-Pakistan tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) as proposed by FM Hina Rabbani Khar.

Clearly, unenthusiastic about Khar's offer for a "discussion and dialogue" with him, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here that direct talks between ministers do not happen in a rush.

In a statement issued in Islamabad last night, Khar had said,"...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, to sort out things."

On future course of action by India, Khurshid said, "Let us not rush into the matter and (let us) move step by step."

Meanwhile, Khurshid and Defence Minister A K Antony briefed the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the situation arising out of the January 8 incident in which two Indian soldiers were killed, one of them beheaded by Pakistani troops.

Khurshid is also understood to have told the meeting that Pakistan has indicated scaling down of its stand by wanting bilateral talks instead of its earlier demand for a UN probe into the incident.

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