No business with Pakistan after barbaric act: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that those responsible for this dastardly crime will have to be brought to book.

NEW DELHI: "There cannot be business as usual with Pakistan after the barbaric act (the mutilation of the two jawans)," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, reacting strongly to the firing along the LoC.
Dr Singh was speaking during the 65th Army Day function in Delhi.

The prime minister said that those responsible for this dastardly crime will have to be brought to book.

"I hope Pakistan realises this. What happened in LoC is unacceptable. It must be held accountable for what happened on the LoC. Hope it will bring the perpetrators of beheading to justice. The future peace process depends on Pakistan," television channels quoted the prime minister as saying.

The prime minister was referring to the January 8 killing of two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, near the Line of Control.

Asked about what are the options before India given the current scenario, the prime minister said that these matters could not be discussed publicly. He, however, assured that there "will be a statement by government."

This is the first time the Indian prime minister has spoken out on the grisly killing and mutilation of two Indian jawans by Pakistani troops on January 8.

Meanwhile, the visa agreement between India and Pakistan to allow free and easy access to senior Pakistani citizens, which was to come into effect from today, has been put on hold.

Also, all the nine Pakistani hockey players who were to play in the Hockey India League have been asked to return home.

Reacting to the prime minister's statement, BJP senior leader Yashwant Sinha said that his party welcomed the tough, though late, stance of the prime minister.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that there was no timeline for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the heinous act at the LoC to book, although India is pushing Islamabad hard to act.