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India says firing by Pakistani troops ahead of talks unfortunate


New Delhi : India Tuesday termed as “unfortunate” the firing at a Jammu outpost by Pakistani troops, especially ahead of Thursday’s talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, and said such acts vitiate the atmosphere.

“Over the last few months, we had pointed — conveyed to Pakistan — our concerns about the rise in infiltration and about the cease-fire violations by Pakistan,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters here.

“The firing…it is extremely unfortunate,” the foreign secretary said, adding: “The fact is that such incidents, which have been provoked for no reason at all, do not contribute to a positive atmosphere.”

Troopers of the Border Security Force Monday reported hour-long firing since 4 a.m. from across the border, directed at the Abdullah post at Ranbir Singh Pura, some 30 km west of Jammu. The firing resumed around noon and went on till 6 p.m.

There were no casualties.

A day earlier, three civilian porters working for the army were killed and two troopers injured when Pakistan violated the ceasefire in Machil sector of the Line of Control (LoC), officials here said.

The Indian foreign secretary said during her’s and Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s visits to Islamabad, the lack of credible action by Pakistan against the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack will be an “obvious” talking point.

“We have always emphasised the need for credible action by Pakistan in regard to the evidence we have provided on the Mumbai terror attacks and additional information we have provided in the last few months,” she said.

“We have underlined the need for Pakistan to take the evidence seriously, take it on board, and take substantive action in response on what we have exchanged with them. Obviously, these issues will form a part of our discussions.”

Rao is slated to meet with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir Thursday.

Last week, India had handed over the 11th dossier to Pakistan, in response to issues raised by Islamabad in the six dossiers sent April 25 relating to the Mumbai attack.

Sources here said the 11th dossier contained copies of the deposition of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the 26/11 attack, and extensive evidence of Pakistani national Hafiz Saeed’s complicity in the Mumbai carnage as its mastermind.