Varied response to India-Pakistan talks

New Delhi, Aug 9 : The Congress and the Left have varied responses to the BJP's suggestion that India should stop talking to Pakistan after the recent killing of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.

While the Congress said no talks were planned and any talks between the prime ministers of the two countries at the UN general assembly in New York next month would happen only after reviewing the situation then, the Communist Party of India (CPI) said India-Pakistan dialogue must go on.

According to Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko, "no talks have been decided yet and the government will review the situation in the light of the new developments".

Chacko said that Defence Minister A.K. Antony had said in his statement in parliament that the killing of soldiers would impact India-Pakistan relations.

"PM to PM talks may happen depending upon the situation after taking into account what action Pakistan takes against terrorists," Chacko told IANS.

"More than India, Pakistan needs a dialogue," he said.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had Tuesday asked the government to give Pakistan a "befitting reply" for killing the soldiers and to stop all dialogue with the neighbouring country.

"These incidents are not taking place in isolation. We had incidents of soldiers being beheaded, we had Sarabjit (Singh, who died in a Pakistan prison)... We have a series of incidents of cross-border terrorism," leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in the upper house after Antony made a suo moto statement on the incident.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi supported Jaitley's view but said if talks have to happen, "India should set the terms of dialogue".

"India should demand action against 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, end to border infiltration and dismantling of terror training camps in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir," Lekhi told IANS.

CPI leader D. Raja said: "The only option is to have meaningful dialogue" between India and Pakistan. "LoC violations will happen but war is not an option. Pakistan should not allow terrorists on its soil and the civilian government (in Pakistan) should restrain the army."

"Both countries have fought major wars in the past but could not resolve issues between them. Both India and Pakistan will have to live as neighbours in peace," Raja told IANS.

--IANS (Posted on 09-08-2013)

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