Soldiers killing: India rejects Pak proposal for UN probe
India on Thursday out rightly rejected Pakistan’s proposal for UN investigation into Tuesday’s incident on Line of Control (LoC) in which two Indian soldiers were killed with the body of one being badly mutilated.
The issue figured at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) which was briefed by Defence Minister A K Antony on the incident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector on January 8 and subsequent developments.
“We are certainly not going to agree to internationalize the issue or allow the United Nations to hold an inquiry. That demand is obviously rejected out of hand,” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told a press conference after the meetings of the Union Cabinet and CCS in New Delhi.
Pakistan had yesterday claimed that its troops were not involved in the attack carried out inside the Indian territory in Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir and said it was prepared to hold investigation through the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). UNMOGIP has presence on both sides of LoC.
“We take a serious view of what happened...Whatever has to be done will be done,” Chidambaram said while describing the incident as brutal. He noted that Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir had been summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs yesterday and a protest lodged.
Chidambaram, who is a member of CCS presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asserted that Indian troops had committed no violation of the ceasefire agreement as claimed in a media report.He said the conduct of the Indian troops was within the guidelines that were agreed upon by the two countries.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the action of Pakistani troops was inhuman and the government had taken the matter seriously. “It was inhuman. We have condemned it,” he said.
‘Not a set-back to peace process’
Meanwhile, Pakistan today hoped that the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control would not be a set back to the peace process with India.
“You asked whether this will be a set back or derail the (peace) process. I hope not and I (do not) see it derailing or setting back the process,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said during a news conference at the Foreign Office in Islamabad this afternoon.
“I hope both the countries will show their commitment to correct (the situation) as we are showing our commitment to correct,” she said in response to a flurry of questions about two clashes along the LoC that left one Pakistani and two Indian soldiers dead.
Ms Khar reiterated Pakistan’s offer to have the clashes investigated by the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. “We have asked for (a probe by) UNMOGIP and conveyed to the Indian side that this is an option which is on the table because we clearly have nothing to hide.
We would want a third party to investigate the matter and set the record straight,” she said.
She said the two countries have mechanisms in place to deal with “challenges like the one we have been faced with in the last week...so that we can continue as normal neighbors”.
As part of these efforts, the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries had been in contact and a protest had been lodged by Pakistan’s Foreign Office with the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, she said.
Ms Khar repeatedly said that the government and people of Pakistan were committed to normalizing relations with India and ruled out an official response to every statement being made by Indian political leaders on the clashes along the LoC.
“The Pakistan government and the Pakistani people have demonstrated a deep, abiding commitment to normality and improve relations with India and to really start a journey of trust-building,” she said.
The Pakistan People’s Party-led government, she said, had been "walking the talk on giving India very pragmatic and specific messages, for instance through trade normalization and visa liberalization".
The Pakistan government is “leading towards a track which is of trust-building and normalising this region which has been very unstable because of irresponsible actions and statements”, Ms Khar said. The government would not do anything that would promote or contribute to instability, she added.
- Asian Tribune -