Notwithstanding the grave provocation in the Mender sector of Jammu and Kashmir where Pakistani troops decapitated an army jawan and mutilated the body of another, India has decided not to derail the ongoing confidence building measures (CBMs), a byproduct of the thaw that set in between the two countries at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde made it clear that the provocation will not affect either the new visa regime that he operationalised with his counterpart Rehman Malik last month, or other engagements with Pakistan like cross border trade or renewed cricketing ties.
“Whatever agreement was agreed will be carried out. There is no rethinking on the visa agreement,” Shinde said replying to a query if India was planning to rethink after the Mender episode. Shinde also praised Pakistan for taking positive steps with regard to 26/11 probe. “I think Pakistan has taken positive steps.... This was the reason why I decided to send government prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam to Pakistan along with the home ministry officials,” he said.
Sources said the government has decided to keep the response to the incident localised and will continue to do so in diplomatic parleys condemning the incident in a strong manner and asking Pakistan to fix accountability and punish the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“There is a clear thinking that we cannot afford to go to war in the present time for various reasons. Besides, it is only through CBMs and more people to people contact with Pakistan we can blunt and sideline such elements which want to provoke India to respond. This serves their purpose as it makes fundamentalism strong in both countries,” sources said.