India takes note of Pak FM Khar's talks offer, but demands justice for dead soldiers first

New Delhi, Jan.17 (ANI): The Indian Government on Thursday is reported to have said that it has taken note of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's offer of talks at the foreign minister's level to take steps to tone down the belligerence from both sides with regard to the recent violations of the November 2003 ceasefire violations.

A news agency quoted government sources, as saying that New Delhi is still of the view that Islamabad needs to bring the soldiers involved in the murder and mutilation of two Indian Army soldiers to justice before any forward movement on talks can be considered.

Meanwhilem the new agency has quoted army sources, as saying that there was no incident of firing reported along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday night.

As per an army spokesman's statement issued late on Wednesday night, the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan have agreed not to violate the ceasefire and exercise maximum restraint after more than 10 days of heightened border tension between the two countries.

Government sources are being quoted as saying that Pakistan appears to be trying to cool things down.

Stating that continued tension along the LoC is not in the interest of peace and stability in the region, Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday night offered to discuss the issue at the level of the foreign ministers.

It appeared to be a climb-down on earlier "warmongering" remark against Indian leaders.

"Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to Line of Control (LoC) with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the Foreign Ministers to sort out things," said Khar in a late night statement.(ANI with inputs)

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