No talks without Pak ceasefire violations being addressed first: Khurshid

Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Aug. 17 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said recurring ceasefire violations by Pakistan needed to be addressed first before New Delhi could consider the possibility of holding talks with Islamabad.

"The situation today is not such that I would be discussing the issues about talks. We have to first address the issue which is more urgent and that issue is of violations of ceasefire and we are concentrating entirely on that," he told media here today.

Khurshid further said that the army is trying not to get provoked by the continuous ceasefire violations by Pakistan in order to diffuse the tension along the border.

"We are trying to be responsible, we are trying not to get provoked, but we are also taking all defensive measures that are necessary. The Defence Minister has already indicated to the army what the army's job is under these circumstances, but what diplomatic possibilities there are, we will continue to explore," he said.

"We have called in the (Pakistan) Deputy High Commissioner and at different levels the right communication messages are going. But let us wait and see what is the impact of all this," he added.

In yet another incident of ceasefire violation, the Pakistani troops on Friday targeted Indian forward posts in the Kargil-Drass sector today. It is for the first time since the Kargil war of 1999 that the Pakistani Army has fired in this sector.

No casualties have, however, been reported so far. This is the 18th ceasefire violation in the last eleven days.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, yesterday said it is imperative that for bilateral relations to improve between India and Pakistan, Islamabad must take all steps necessary to prevent its sol from being used for any anti-India activity.

Delivering his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the historic 17th-century built Red Fort; Dr. Singh said India has also strived for friendship with neighbouring countries.

"However, for relations with Pakistan to improve, it is essential that they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity," he added.

The Prime Minister was apparently referring to the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC). (ANI)

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