'India still working to prevent derailment of ties with Pakistan': Khurshid

Thimpu, Jan. 15 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said that India would continue to strive to save the peace process with Pakistan that has been continuously violating ceasefire norms in Kashmir.

Khurshid, who arrived here on a two-day official visit yesterday, said India is trying hard to prevent derailment of its ties with the neighbouring nation.

"Enormous investment has been made in the peace process and when you make enormous investment in the peace process you don't do it just because it sounds good, you do it because there is objective and practical need for peace, because of not having peace is much greater than the cost of investing in peace," said Khurshid.

"And, therefore, we are today still committed and we are trying the best that we can do to ensure that peace is not derailed, certainly not derailed beyond the extent to which we have seen it getting derailed," he added.

Khurshid said that India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan on Monday's flag meeting over the brutal killing of its troopers at the Line of Control (LoC).

In wake of the constant criticism from the opposition over the government's policy on Pakistan, Khurshid said that India would rather wait for an appropriate reaction from Pakistan and not get aroused by the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) repeated demands for stronger measures.

"Meanwhile, of course it is a very serious concern what happened, we have said this, we have conveyed this to the Government of Pakistan. Yes we haven't had a satisfactory response thus far, but I don't think it is very sensible or useful to put timelines on an adequate response," said Khurshid.

" We need to keep working and make sure that at the same time this does not become a cause for some irretrievable damage to the peace process," he added.

India yesterday 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.

Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh were killed by infiltrating Pakistani soldiers in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.

Their bodies were found mutilated, sparking a diplomatic face-off between India and Pakistan and tension along the Line of Control that separates the two countries.

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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