Question (Indian Media): Sir, my question is on a different issue. Today the High Commissioner of Pakistan Salman Bashir was summoned to Ministry of External Affairs over the gruesome killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani soldiers. This was not a routine ceasefire violation. They had stepped inside our territory; they beheaded one soldier and took away the head. What kind of protest has been launched? Have you also demanded at least the immediate handing over of the head for the honourable funeral of the soldier that he deserves? Could we also take up this particular issue at the International Court or the United Nations?
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid: As far as my information goes, he was spoken to this morning. He was called to the Ministry this morning and he was spoken to in very strong terms. We have conveyed our deepest concern and protest at what has happened. You know, we had the discussions on 27th of December on the conventional CBMs; and the non-violation of the Line of Control ceasefire is the most important part of those CBMs. Therefore, violation of that in itself is something which is a matter of great concern. That obviously, if not immediately contained, would have an adverse impact on what we have been trying to do for such a long time.
But the specific context that has come to our notice about the manner in which the soldiers’ bodies have been treated is of course a matter of very, very deep concern, and indeed the sense of hurt that has been felt is taken on board. This has been conveyed as being unacceptable. We are doing the best that is possible. I expect that there will be some response from the other side. Our intent has been conveyed very clearly. Our anxiety has been conveyed very clearly. Now we would expect an appropriate response from that side. I can once again repeat that this is completely unacceptable.
At the same time, I think it is very important that we make sure that whatever has happened should not be escalated. We cannot and must not allow for an escalation of a very unwholesome event that has taken place. I hope that message has gone home.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine