New Delhi Repeats Old Line on Talks With Pak

New Delhi—India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border “terrorism”, and any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan can be held only in an atmosphere free of “terror and violence”, the government told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue between the two countries, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said.

“It has been made clear to Pakistan that government seeks to have normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully.

“However, any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere. India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism,” he said in a written reply to a query.

Ahir said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner, to respect the sanctity of the International Boundary and Line of Control and to adhere to the 2003 understanding on ceasefire along the International Boundary and the Line of Control in order to maintain peace and tranquility.

“The government has through established channels of communication such as DGMOs, meetings of border guarding forces as well as diplomatic channels, lodged strong protests against continued support to cross-border terrorism against India by Pakistan, including by providing cover fire in support of cross-border infiltration of terrorists,” he said.

The minister said the government has deplored the unprovoked firing by the Pakistani forces resulting in the loss of innocent civilian lives. It has been conveyed to Pakistan that such acts of targeting civilian population by Pakistan forces are against all established humanitarian norms and practices.

‘10 Soldiers Among 22 Killed In 633 Ceasefire Violations’

Pakistan violated the ceasefire along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir 633 times in the first two months of this year in which 10 force personnel and 12 civilians were killed, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Union minister of state for home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said 432 incidents of ceasefire violation have taken place along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and 201 such incidents along the International Border till February this year.

There were 860 incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC and 111 incidents of ceasefire violation along the IB in Jammu and and Kashmir in 2017, he said in a written reply to a question.

Ahir also said that 12 civilians were killed and 59 others were injured in such incidents this year.

Six army personnel were killed and 18 other soldiers injured in these incidents. Four BSF personnel were killed and 22 BSF jawans injured in these incidents ceasefire violation. (PTI)

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