'War-mongering' Hina Rabbani Khar offers talks with Salman Khurshid to defuse LoC tension


Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who had earlier accused India of engaging in 'war-mongering', has offered to hold "discussion and dialogue" with her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid to resolve the crisis at the Line of Control.

"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, to sort out things," Khar said in a statement issued late last evening in Islamabad.

"Rhetoric and ratcheting up of tensions is certainly counter-productive," she said a day after accusing India of engaging in "war-mongering" in the aftermath of the killings of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops, which led Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue a stern comment that there "cannot be business as usual with Pakistan."

A string of violations of the ceasefire that had been in operation since 2003 along the 742-km LoC over the past 10 days have left two Indian soldiers dead.

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Speaking at an event organised by think-tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York last evening, Khar said, "We will be open to a discussion and a dialogue at the levels of the Foreign Ministers to be able to resolve the issue of cross LoC incidents and also to recommit ourselves to respect for the ceasefire because Pakistan is fully committed to respect for the ceasefire 2003."

She said the LoC clashes and killing of soldiers has "unfortunately created questions but we still believe that dialogue must be the means to resolve this or any issue."

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