India doesn't want to hinder economic ties with Pakistan: Anand Sharma

New Delhi, Jan. 16 (ANI): Despite mounting tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, caused by the Pakistan Army's repeated ceasefire violations, the Indian Government on Wednesday said that it did not want to hinder economic ties with Islamabad.

Asked whether government will reconsider engaging Pakistan on the bilateral trade front, especially in the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's strong remark that it would be difficult to pursue "business as usual" with Islamabad, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said New Delhi is not thinking of breaking off economic ties, which he added has been developed after enormous effort over the years.

"The recent activities from Pakistan are provocative and it is a matter of serious concern, but we have not thought of breaking the economic relationship till now. Our trade relations are very important for the economic development of SAARC nations," said Sharma.

"We have been dealing with the economic tie-up in a very transparent manner to make South Asia an integral part of global economic development," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Manmohan Singh and External Affair Minister Salman Khurshid, warned Pakistan about the "barbaric" the brutal killing of Indian soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC) on January 8, and said there cannot be business as usual with Islamabad.

Dr. Singh said: "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."

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too has demanded tough action against Pakistan over the beheading and mutilation of Indian Army soldiers. (ANI)

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