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Salman indicates not averse to talks with Hina, but wants some more time

Posted on Jan 21, 07:33PM | UNI

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today indicated that he was not averse to talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar but would prefer some more time to be given for such exercise so as to study the situation as it existed today.

Replying to questions from the media about Ms Khar's recent offer of talks that came last week amidst escalating tensions at LoC, the External Affairs Minister said there was only a suggestion, and the suggestion came through media, but still it was a positive development as it moved away from the talk of third party intervention.

Pakistan had tried to internationalise the incident of the killing of two Indian soldiers and brutalising of their bodies, including beheading of one by taking the matter to the UN Military Observers Group on India and Pakistan,denying hand of its army, while India had dismissed this move as having of no relevance after the Simla Agreement of 1972 which enjoined upon the two parties to resolve all their issues bilaterally.

''The bilateral phase is now a positive signal,'' Mr Khurshid said.

The DGMOs of the two countries have been in touch with each other in a significant way, which was a welcome development, he said.

Mr Khurshid, however, sought to underline these were the matters in which atmospherics should be studied carefully.

''I don't think that statements made in domestic context should be the last word,'' he said.

For the present, the situation was a lot better than it was a few days ago, said the minister.