'Dialogue with neighbours only on accepted principles of civilised behaviour', says Sonia

Jaipur, Jan. 18 (ANI): Amid the escalating tension between India and Pakistan over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC), Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday said dialogue with neighbours must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour.

Gandhi, who was addressing the Congress Party's 'Chintan Shivir' at Jaipur, said India's foreign policy has always had a vision.

"Better relations with our immediate neighbours will not only make for regional peace, they will also have a positive impact on some of our cold border states. However, let us be very clear that our dialogue must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour. We will never compromise on our vision and preparedness to deal with terrorism," she said.

Terming as 'barbaric' the brutal killing of Indian jawans along the Line of Control, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had earlier on Tuesday said 'there cannot be business as usual with Islamabad'.

"After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan. Pakistan must be held accountable for what happened on the LoC. Hope Pakistan will bring the perpetrators of beheading to justice. The future peace process depends on Pakistan," he said.

Tension between the two Asian neighbours has escalated ever since Indian jawan Lance Naik Hemraj was beheaded in an attack by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control on January 8.

India has lodged a strong protest against the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and made it clear to it that the Army reserves the right to retaliate if provoked.

The Army's position was conveyed at a brigadier-level flag meeting between the two sides at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing-point in Poonch sector of the Jammu region on Monday.

On January 8, the two soldiers - Lance Naiks Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj Singh were killed near the LoC by Pakistani troops. The jawans belonged to the 13 Rajputana Rifles.

Pakistan has denied India's claim that its troops crossed the Line of Control to ambush a patrol party in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district. (ANI)

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