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India takes note of 'positive indications' from Pak

Will respond appropriately if Islamabad makes a formal proposal for talks between the foreign ministers, says Khushid

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India today noted the "positive indications" from Pakistan following the tension at the Line of Control (LoC) in the wake of beheading of its soldier and said it will give an "appropriate" response if Islamabad makes a formal proposal for talks between the foreign ministers.

"These are positive indications, good indications. Let us wait for formal proposal then we can respond formally," External Affairs Minister Salman told reporters here.

He was asked about the offer of Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for discussions on "all" concerns related to LoC.

Replying to queries, Khurshid said, "Don't use words like softening and hardening (of stand). There is a positive content in some of the statements that have come from both the (Pakistani) Foreign Minister and the High Commissioner (in Delhi). The positive content in it is welcome and it should be getting an appropriate response from our side."

He had earlier said that talks at the Foreign Ministers' level cannot be done in a rush.

On the incident in which two soldiers were killed on January 8, Khurshid said it had caused "enormous hurt, pain and a complete solution is still not evident".

He said there were "very deep concerns" because of what happened and "we are trying to ensure that those get addressed and the situation also does not deteriorate. All these things have to be kept in mind".

On the peace process, he said it was strategically and tactically important for India's role in the world and, therefore, "its importance is not going to be undermined by incidents that happen from time to time.

"Peace process is something in which we have invested a lot of time and we have done it emotionally."

Khurshid said, "Much as we are aggrieved and hurt by those incidents, we hope that we find a resolution to all these matters and that's the reason we have treated the whole issue with greatest care and closest attention possible."

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been trying to ensure that "things remain in control and that our concerns are addressed".

Defence Minister A K Antony had informed the Cabinet yesterday that the ceasefire had held since Wednesday when the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries spoke and agreed not to escalate the matter.

He is learnt to have said that there was a general reduction in tensions along LoC, and shared the assessment of the Army that a close watch needed to be maintained.

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