Pakistan on Thursday hoped that the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control would not be a setback to or derail the peace process with India. On whether "this will set back or derail the (peace) process", Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, "I will hope not and I (do not) see it derailing or setting back the process."
Speaking at a news conference at the Pakistan foreign office on Thursday afternoon, Khar responded to a flurry of questions about two clashes along the LoC that left one Pakistani and two Indian soldiers dead by saying, "I hope both the countries will show their commitment to correct (the situation) as we are doing."
Reiterating Pakistan's offer to have the clashes investigated by the UN military observer group in India and Pakistan, Khar said India has outrightly rejected this offer. "We asked for (a probe by) UNMOGIP and conveyed the Indian side because we clearly have nothing to hide. We would want a third party to investigate the matter and set the record straight," she said.
Contending that the situation had deteriorated because of "some unnecessary statements and unnecessary atmospherics which were created", she said the two countries have mechanisms in place to deal with "challenges like the one we have been faced with in the last week...so that we can continue as normal neighbours".
As part of these efforts, the directors general of military operations of the two countries had been in contact and a protest had been lodged by Pakistan's Foreign Office with the Indian deputy high commissioner, she said, while adding that the government and people of Pakistan were committed to normalising relations with India.
Rulung out an official response to every statement being made by Indian political leaders on the clashes along the LoC, Khar said, "The Pakistan People's Party-led government, she said, had been walking the talk on giving India very pragmatic and specific messages, for instance through trade normalisation and visa liberalisation".
Stating that the government would not do anything that would promote or contribute to instability, she said, "The Pakistan government is "leading towards a track which is of trust-building and normalising this region which has been very unstable because of irresponsible actions and statements."
Khar said Pakistan had been "a bit appalled and unpleasantly surprised to see such strong statements emanating four days after (a Pakistani soldier) lost his life" in a clash along the LoC on Sunday. Terming as "unfortunate" the "contradictory statements" from Indian Army officials on whether an Indian soldier had been decapitated, Khar acknowledged that there was now "a sense of trying to de-escalate on their (Indian) side from those statements.