Pakistan bashing has become fashionable in India: Salman Bashir

12:33 PM, Friday, January 18th, 2013
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Salman BashirNew Delhi : Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir on Thursday made a call for toning down the “Pakistan bashing” in India following clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) between the Armies of the two countries.

In an interview to an international news agency, Bashir also reiterated Pakistan’s offer for foreign minister-level talks to try to cool tensions.

“I think it is important not to let this cycle escalate into something which becomes even more ugly than it is today,” Bashir said. “Let’s try to see if we can cool down and resume normal business.”

The envoy said instead of indulging in “Pakistan bashing”, New Delhi could have approached Islamabad to get to the bottom of what happened instead of “stirring raw emotions and upping the rhetoric”. Bashir was referring to the January 8 gruesome killing of two Indian troops on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

He said that “Pakistan bashing has become fashionable” in India.

Bashir denied that Pakistani troops were behind the killing of the soldiers on the Indian side of the LoC dividing Kashmir.

“Such heinous acts … are of course condemnable irrespective of where they happen and when they happen. But to say that these were done by Pakistan, that the Pakistan Army was responsible, is something that we cannot agree to,” he said.

Bashir said the Pakistani Army and government could not speculate on who might have been behind the attack.

He pointed to an offer made on Wednesday by Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to her Indian counterpart for talks to ratchet down the tension.

“Pakistan definitely desires de-escalation and definitely feels that the only way forward is through dialogue,” he said.



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