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LoC killings: Antony warns Pakistan, pacifies opposition
Thursday August 8, 2013 10:52 PM, IANS

Pacifying the opposition by amending his earlier statement to blame the Pakistani Army for killing five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday said the incident will have an on affect India's behaviour on the LoC and its relations with Pakistan.

Giving a clear message to Pakistan, Antony asked it to punish the guilty and stressed that India's restraint should not be taken for granted.

"Naturally this incident will have consequences on our behaviour on the LoC and for our relations with Pakistan. Our restraint should not be taken for granted nor should the capacity of armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the LoC ever be doubted," Antony said in the Lok Sabha.

"We all know that nothing happens from Pakistan side of the LoC without the support, assistance, facilitation and often direct involvement of the Pakistan Army," he said.

Antony said army chief Gen Bikram Singh had visited the area and "it is now clear that specialist troops of Pakistan Army were involved in this attack when a group from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and killed our brave jawans."

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj thanked him.

"I am grateful to the defence minister for correcting his statement. We were not trying to play politics. I am glad that he admitted his mistake. Kindly ensure that this does not happen in the future," she said in the house after Antony's statement.

Antony also called upon Pakistan to punish those responsible for the attack and the one in January this year when one soldier was beheaded and the body of the other was mutilated

"Pakistan should also show determined action to dismantle the terrorist networks, organizations and infrastructure and show tangible movement on bringing those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008 to justice quickly," he added.

Antony was under attack from the opposition for his earlier statement where he had told parliament that "20 heavily armed terrorists along with persons in Pakistan Army uniform" were responsible for the killings.

The members wanted to seek clarifications from the defence minister over his Thursday's statement but the speaker did not allow it.

Both houses of parliament were however disrupted over other issues including demands for a united Andhra Pradesh and protests over the naming of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members in the Rajya Sabha bulletin for violation of rules.

In the Lok Sabha, Congress and TDP members raised the Telangana issue while members from the Shiromani Akali Dal waved newspapers carrying reports of Sikhs having to remove their turbans at an airport in Italy.

The house could take up only two questions because of the disruptions, prompting BJP leader L.K. Advani said that in the last several years, he had not seen such pandemonium.

The Rajya Sabha was disrupted as opposition members slammed the government for naming BJP and TDP members in the bulletin of the upper house for violation of rules.

The BJP staged a walkout and boycotted the house but the issue was resolved with intervention of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath who urged the chair to reconsider the matter in view of sentiments of the members.

The Rajya Sabha also passed the Companies Bill, which had earlier been passed in the lower house.

Both the houses will now meet on Monday, Friday being a holiday on the occasion of Eid.

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