Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Indian premier reacts strongly to Pakistani counterpart's remarks on Kashmir

File photo of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Pic: AP)
NEW DELHI (AA) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reacted strongly to remarks attributed to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif that the dispute over Kashmir could ignite another war between the two nations.
"There is no scope of Pakistan winning any such war in my lifetime," Singh firmly told reporters when asked about his reaction to Pakistani PM's reported statement in an English daily.
Pakistani English daily Dawn cited Nawaz Sharif as saying that Kashmir could trigger a fourth war between India and Pakistan.
According to the report, during a visit to Pakistan-held-Kashmir, Sharif said, "Kashmir is a flashpoint and can trigger a fourth war between the two nuclear powers at any time."
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is claimed by both India and Pakistan.
The two countries have fought three full-fledged wars since they were partitioned in 1947.
Two of the three wars -- those of 1948 and 1965 -- were fought over Kashmir.
According to Press Trust of India (PTI), Sharif’s office has denied that Sharif made any such statement rejecting the newspaper article as "incorrect" and based on "malafide intentions".
Sharif’s alleged statement comes after a recent thaw in bilateral relations between the two nuclear arch-rivals when the two prime ministers met in September on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York.
In recent months, the number of ceasefire violations along Line of Control (LOC) or border have gone up.
On October 9, 2013, India's Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid had expressed optimism about the ongoing peace process and dialogue between the nuclear arch rivals.
"I think much as we feel upset and concerned and hurt by what is happening on the border and the Line of Control (LoC), I think we have to show some perseverance, some patience and some fortitude to ensure that we don't play into the hands of the forces that want to create trouble," Khurshid had said when asked about the recent ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border.
According to the Indian army, some 35-40 militants had attempted to infiltrate the border in the Keran sector of the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).
Army Chief Bikram Singh had termed this as an "infiltration bid by terrorists" but suggested the complicity of the Pakistani army.
This is the second biggest infiltration attempt into India after the Kargil war of 1999.
Khurshid had dismissed any suggestion of cutting off ties with Pakistan.
"We would be playing into their hands, if we cut off all avenues of communication with the elected government of Pakistan, that was elected on a clear mandate of better relations with India because during the campaign Mr Nawaz Sharif had made that into a prominent issue," Khurshid had said.

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