Indo-Pak diplomatic relations should be scaled down: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, Aug. 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh on Thursday said diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan should be scaled down till Islamabad does not come on the right track.

"Our stand is very clear. We are of the opinion that diplomatic relations should be scaled down till Pakistan does not come on the right track," he told media here.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh should not hold any talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York next month.

"I think he (Prime Minister) should take a cue from Mr. Obama who had cancelled his meeting with Mr. Putin only on giving an asylum to somebody who was wanted by USA. Now five soldiers have been killed and there are sufficient grounds to declare that Indian Prime Minister will not hold any talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif," he said.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Lok Sabha 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 Lok Sabha shortly after noon, 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.

The Defence Minister said that his earlier statement to both Houses of Parliament were made on the basis of facts available to him then, and that now, he was making a fresh and amended statement based on the feedback provided to him by General Bikram Singh after the latter's visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, hailed the statement, and said the whole house fully supports the government. She said that now it is clear that her party was not politicizing the issue.

The BJP had earlier demanded first an apology and then a revised statement from Antony, who on Wednesday, stopped short of blaming the Pakistani army and attributed the assault to 'men in Pakistani army uniforms'. He was contradicted by his own ministry, which issued a strongly-worded statement directly accusing Pakistani soldiers of taking part in the ambush. (ANI)


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