India unsure about Manmohan-Sharif meeting

New Delhi, Aug. 8 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday kept Islamabad guessing whether Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh would meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

"It should be welcome, but we have to proceed with caution," Khurshid told media here.

"Let us give it time, never has such a statement ever come. Maybe it's an indication of change," he added.

Expressing sadness over the recent incidents on the Line of Control, the Pakistan Prime Minister today expressed his desire to meet Dr. Singh during the United Nations General Assembly session.

Sharif, who presided over an important meeting at the foreign office in Islamabad today' said the recent incidents are deplorable.

He said talks will be held on promotion of bilateral relations and restoration of trust.

"It is imperative for India and Pakistan to take effective steps to restore ceasefire on Line of Control," he said.

The Pakistan Prime Minister also emphasized that while existing military to military channels could be more optimally utilized to prevent misunderstanding and not allowing situation to escalate.

" Pakistan is prepared to discuss steps with India for further strengthening of existing mechanisms both at the political and military levels," he said, while stating that it is incumbent upon the leadership of both sides not to allow the situation to drift and to take steps to improve the atmosphere by engaging constructively with a view to building trust and confidence.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Parliament earlier in the day that the specialist troops of Pakistan Army and a group from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir side, which crossed the Line of Control, had killed the five Indian soldiers on Tuesday.

Antony, who made a fresh statement in the Parliament, said nothing happens from Pakistan side of the Line of Control without support, assistance, facilitation and direct involvement of the Pakistan Army.

He said those in Pakistan who are responsible for the tragedy and brutal killing of two Indian soldiers earlier this year should not go unpunished.

Antony said Islamabad should also show determined action to dismantle the terrorist networks, organization and infrastructure.

The Defence Minister underlined that Tuesday's incident will have consequences on New Delhi's behaviour on the Line of Control and its relations with Islamabad.

"India's restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of the Indian Armed Forces and the government's resolve to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control ever be doubted," he said.

On Tuesday morning, Pakistan had intruded into Indian Territory and ambushed five Indian soldiers who were patrolling an area along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District. (ANI)

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