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Antony for wait and watch policy on ties with Pak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 31
Defence Minister AK Antony today reiterated a “wait and watch” policy in normalising relations with Pakistan while dismissing its claims of the Indian Army having beheaded Pakistani soldiers in the past.

Nothing should be done in haste, the minister said, adding that the second round of Director General Military Operations (DGMO)-level talks had reduced tension along the Line of Control (LoC), but the guard cannot be lowered. "We have to take all precautions to face any eventuality and we (the Ministry of Defence) are advising everybody that do not be hasty about normalisation. You wait and watch and only then move forward. That is our approach," he said on the sidelines of a defence function today.

Tensions along the LoC had flared up on January 8 after the brutal killing of Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh in Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Antony also dismissed the Pakistani army claim in complaints to the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) that several of its troops have been beheaded by the Indian Army over the last 15 years. "Totally baseless," he said in response to a query on Pakistan’s complaint to the UNMOGIP.

A newspaper report yesterday had cited Pakistani army complaints with UNMOGIP on the issue following which the Indian Army questioned the relevance of the UN body after the signing of the 1972 Simla Agreement. Army Public Relations Officer Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya had said yesterday, "Since the 1972 Simla Agreement, the relevance of UNMOGIP itself remains questionable.”

The UNMOGIP arrived in India in 1949 following the ceasefire and India says following the Simla Agreement all matters have to be resolved bilaterally.

On media reports of China building three more dams on the Brahmaputra river, Antony said, "We have not yet received the factual position. So, my reaction at this time would be premature. We will wait for the details and then the government will take a considered view."

Regarding operations in Naxal areas, Antony categorically stated that the IAF and Army will not get involved in direct operations and would provide logistics and training support to the central armed police forces.





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