LoC killings: Hina Rabbani Khar and Art of Denial

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Hina Khar
New Delhi, Jan 16: Tension between India and Pakistan is palpable. Both the nations are exchanging "hot words" over killing of soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC). While India is demanding an answer from Pakistan regarding brutal killing and beheading of two jawans, Pakistan is still in a state of denial.

Instead of condemning the brutal killing of two Indian jawans at LoC by Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar accused India of engaging in "war-mongering".

"What do we see today? We see three incidents across the LoC. We see war-mongering which puts the last 60 years actively back into our memory. War-mongering coming in from the other side of the border which is, I thought, the thing of yesteryears, thing that we had put behind us," Khar said at an event at the Asia Society in New York on Tuesday, Jan 15.

"It is deeply disturbing to hear statements (from India) which are upping the ante where one politician is competing with the other to give a more hostile statement," Khar, who is in the city on the occasion of Pakistan's Presidency this month at the UN Security Council, said.

Khar's comments came in the wake of strong words from Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Pakistan with strong words. He said on Tuesday that there could be no "business as usual" with Pakistan if the neighbouring country keeps on violating ceasefire agreement. Speaking to reporters at a ceremony to mark India's Army Day, Singh said that the killings on Jan 8 on the Line of Control, in which one of the soldiers was beheaded, were a "barbaric act".

The Indian Army was quiet for sometime. However, finally on Monday, Jan 14, Army Chief General Bikram Singh broke his silence and warned Pakistan of retaliation. Singh has made it clear that the Indian soldiers deployed in Jammu and Kashmir will strike back strongly if there is any further provocation from their Pakistani counterparts.

Lance Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh were killed by Pakistani troops on Jan 8 in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan Army regulars took away the head of Hemraj as a trophy and also mutilated the body of the other soldier.

India has raised Pakistan's continuing support to terror groups at the United Nations, seeking international action against state sponsors of terror. India named Pakistan terror groups Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa as major security threats to South East Asian countries.

India's representative to the UN Hardeep Puri said, "The international community cannot afford selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or in dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism. Resort to the use of terrorism as an instrument of State Policy is short-sighted. Those who have taken recourse to it have invariably themselves suffered immensely from it."

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