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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1589

Put pressure on Pak to return head of killed soldier, says Army Chief

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 15 January (

Army chief Gen Bikram Singh has said the Pakistan army should be pressurized to return the head of Lance Naik Hemraj, , who was beheaded by its troops in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Army chief said he would also visit the home of Hemraj whose family was on fast for the last six days demanding that his head be brought back from Pakistan.

"We have to make the Pakistan Army accountable. There are diplomatic, political ways of doing it. As far as the Army is concerned, increasing force and violence is a national decision. We want the head back but what do you when a country and its Army are in denial mode?", Gen Singh said in his annual Army day press conference on Monday.

"I think we should pressurize them nationally and internationally as part of our national element so that they are made accountable and they are made to return the head of our soldier which they have taken away," he said. Gen Singh said that for getting the head back, "it will be taken up at the government level and you will have to appreciate that this has to to be done through diplomatic channels. "It will also be conveyed to the DGMO. It is also being conveyed today in no uncertain terms. Let us see if Pakistan Army heeds to our request and complies to it," he said.

Both the chiefs of Indian Army and Air Force, have been talking tough on the killing of Indian soldiers and warning Pakistan, while the political class has been rather timid. Even while lodging protests, the political refrain has been that nothing should be done to jeopardize ties between the two countries. The weak-kneed response has been slammed by opposition parties.

Talks end without breakthrough

The Brigade-level flag meeting between Indian and Pakistani authorities at Chakan Da Bagh near the Line of Control in Poonch on Monday afternoon ended without any breakthrough.

Official sources disclosed that the meeting on the Zero Line between Commander of the 10th Brigade, Brig. T.S. Sandhu and his Pakistani counterpart, lasted just 15 minutes. The two were joined by over a dozen of the field commanders from the two sides.

At the flag meeting India lodged a strong protest against the beheading of the two soldiers. According to reports, India asked Pakistan to respect the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire during the meet.

- Asian Tribune -

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