Transcript of Media Interaction of External Affairs Minister responding to the crisis across the Line of Control
Question: Sir, kal Pakistan ki Sena ki taraf se do Bharatiya sainikon ki jis tarah se barbarta poorvak hatya ki gayi hai, aur ek Bharatiya sainik ka sir voh apne saath le gaye hain, toh Bharat Sarkar ne kis tarah ka protest darz karaya? Aur kya turant is mein action hoga taaki kum se kum voh Bharatiya sainik ka sir toh Bharat vapas aaye?
Salman Khurshid: Dekhiye, joh bhi hua hai voh badi dukhad ghatna hai. Aur jitni bhi is baat ki ninda ki jaye voh kum hai. Main samajhta hun ki desh bhar mein iska chaaron aur bahut dukh faila hai. Is sthiti mein jitni bhi hum sakht shabdon mein iski ninda kar sakte hain, voh humne ki hai. Jo Pakistan Rajdoot hain unko Ministry mein bula kar yeh baat kahi gayi hai ki voh apni sarkar ko yeh sandesh tatkaal pahuncha dein.
Do vishay hain. Ek vishay hai ki ceasefire aur Line of Control ka ullanghan hua hai. Voh apne aap mein, main maanta hun, ek ghalati hai aur iska dushprabhav padega hum logon ke un sabhi prayason par jo humne bahut maah se kiye hain ki donom deshon ke beech mein sambandh achhe ho jayen, madhur ho jayen, saamaanya ho jayen. Lekin usi ke saath saath yeh jo vishesh ghatna hui hai, iska main maanta hun ki maanavta ka taqaza hai ki aise karnevalon ko svayam isko sveekar karna chahiye, aur us par joh bhi uchit kadam uthaane ki avashyakta hai voh unko uthana chahiye. Humne bahut spasht sandesh Pakistan ko diya hai. Ab hum dekhte hain aage is par aur kya karravayi ho sakti hai ya unki ore se ispar kya pratikriya hogi.
Question: Sir, you said that we must not allow the situation to escalate, and that if this is not contained it could adversely affect our efforts to normalize ties. Is the onus on India or on Pakistan at this moment to ensure that this does not happen?
Salman Khurshid: Frankly, I think that whatever we do with Pakistan is in mutual interest of both countries and indeed for the entire region and the world. It is more than clear now at this time as to who is responsible for violation and also who is responsible for an act which is inhuman and cannot possibly be accepted. Therefore, the onus obviously flows from that. Having said that, I think it is important that we take a responsible position. Our sense of hurt and our sense of indignation are very obvious and we have emphasized this in no uncertain terms. But I still think that we have to be careful that forces that are attempting to derail all the good work that has been done towards normalization should not be successful.
Question: Sir, ek saval yeh uthta hai, Saurabh Kalia case mein bhi yeh saval utha tha, ki is tarah ki joh bhi antarrashtriya norms ka ullanghan hota hai, aapne bhi is par chinta jatayi aur aakrosh bhi jataya, kya Bharat antarrashtriya manchon par le kar jaana chaahega is ghatna ko? Kya aap UN Human Rights Commission mein bhi shiqayat darz karayenge?
Salman Khurshid: Dekhiye, is ka uttar dena tatkal sambhav nahin hai. Uska kaaran yeh hai ki iska ek pariprekshya hai. Pehle bhi antarrashtriya star par yeh baat Pakistan ki ore se kisi aur vishay mein uthaayi gayi thi aur humne us samay apni baat yeh spasht kahi thi ki hum jis maamle ko aapasi maamla maante hain do deshon ka, aur jis mein kisi ka hastkshep nahin hona chahiye, usko hum svayam sveekar karke kisi aur ke hastkshep ko vahan par prastut karein, aisa sambhav nahin hai. Yeh ek aisa vishay hai jis par badi gambhirta se vichar karne ke baad hi kuchh kaha ja sakta hai. Aaj main samajhta hun uchit samay nahin hai ki main aapko is par koi uttar de sakun.
Question: Aur jo parivar hai, kya …
Salman Khurshid: Dekhiye, hamaari ore se, Defence Ministry ki ore se, parijanon ke liye shraddhanjali aur unke liye joh bhi hum kar sakte hain voh hum log karenge. Defence Ministry is par vichar karne ke baad saare uchit kadam uthayegi. Is samay joh hamein spasht sandesh Pakistan ko dena tha, voh humne diya hai. Aur hum ye maante hain aur chahte hain ki is par unki uchit pratikriya humko milni chahiye taaki joh prashn chihn laga hai, voh prashn chihn yahin par samaapt ho sake. Ab aage dekhte hain kya hoga.
Question: Sir, you say you are expecting the response of the Pakistani side. They have already said, their ISPR said that their soldiers have not done it. So, their response is clear.
Salman Khurshid: We have summoned the High Commissioner. We have given a very clear message to the High Commissioner. We expect we will get a response back.
Question: Sir, is it time that India reviews its policy towards Pakistan and redefines its engagement with Pakistan?
Salman Khurshid: I do not think that we need to go into a dramatic review. These are factors that are constantly taken in to account as we move forward. We are careful about ensuring that we do not move too soon, too fast, and then leave ground uncovered. Therefore, whenever there are positive or negative developments that take place, they are factored into our plans. They are factored into the roadmap. And I am sure that that will happen in this case as well.
Question: Sir, there is a public sentiment that the nation should honour those who are defending our troubled frontiers, it should look after their honour especially in this context, and that it should be reflected in the dialogue process with Pakistan.
Salman Khurshid: The gratitude that we owe, and I think it is a gratitude the whole nation owes, to the young men and women who fight at the borders and who protect and provide security to all of us on the borders in peace time or in times of war is something that can never be overstated. I think that the nation joins the family in deep sorrow and determination that this is something that we must make sure does not get repeated. But having said that, I cannot specifically today indicate what the impact of any one or a series of events has on policy that we finally decide in terms of an overall perspective. That is obviously something that will become apparent as we go forward. But I can tell you this much that any such event inevitably gets factored into our policy making.
Question: Sir, shanti prakriya ko aage badhane ke liye joh roadmap aapne taiyar kiya tha, Pakistan ke cricket team ko Bharat aane ki anumati di gayi thi, aapko lagta hai ki is ghatna ke baad, joh ek roadmap taiyar kiya tha Bharat ne Pakistan ke saath baat cheet ki prakriya ko, shanti prakriya ko aage badhane ki, us par iska asar hoga? Voh delayed ho sakta hai is ghatna ke baad?
External Affairs Minister: Is samay main nahin kah paunga, lekin main yeh maanta hun ki sakaratmak agar kadam uthte hain toh aage badhne mein suvidha hoti hai. Aur agar kadam uske viparit hon, toh aage badhne mein kasht to hota hi hai. Is liye, lakshya hamaara kya tha aur us lakshya ko paane ke liye hum ko kya karna hai, us ko agar hum saamne rakhen toh yeh ghatna joh ghati hai, main maanta hun viparit hai. Yeh ghatna humein aage badhne mein koi sahyog to nahin de sakti hai. Lekin, ek ghatna, dusri ghatna, koi aur ghatna, jab bhi kuchh aisa hota hai, us par vichar kar ke hi nirnay liye jaate hain. Aur nirnay aise hi liye gayenge. Main yeh maanta hun ki hamaari ore se is samay humko joh karne ki aavashyakta thi aur joh hamaara dayitva banta tha, vaisa humne kiya hai aur vaisa hum karte rahenge. Is par aage charcha karne ka agar koi mauqa aayega toh hum is pe avashya aapse vistaar se charcha karenge.
Question: Sir, do you consider this a war crime?
Salman Khurshid: I am not here actually to define the nature of the event that has happened except to say that it is completely unacceptable; it is very sad; it is very hurtful; and I think extremely counterproductive in terms of what we need to achieve and what we were determined to do as late as 27th of December when we met to review the confidence building measures. So, obviously it is counterproductive. And I can just express both my sorrow and to an extent my indignation. We have already done that. We have conveyed the message to the High Commissioner and, as I said, we hope that there will be an adequate and reasonable response.
Thank you very much.
Transcript courtesy MEA