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Pakistan Will Pay For Jammu Attack, Says Nirmala Sitharaman, While Mehbooba Mufti Calls For Peace Talks

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 2
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| February 13 , 2018 , 14:30 IST

Two top women ministers of the nation, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed opposing views on how to deal with Pakistan, in the wake of frequent ceasefire violations and the attack on the Sunjuwan camp in Jammu.

While Sitharaman reiterated that Pakistan will pay the price for its 'misadventure', CM Mufti called for resuming peace dialogue with Pakistan as the 'solution' for troubles in the valley.

"Pakistan will pay for this misadventure. I repeat Pakistan will pay for it,” said the defence minister on Monday, while she was in Jammu to take stock of the situation.

ALSO READ: Lashkar-E-Toiba Claims Responsibility For Sunjuwan Terror Attack On Jammu Army Camp

The February 10 terrorist attack on the army camp in Sunjuwan, Jammu, which was claimed by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group, led to the death of 5 soldiers and a father of one of the soldiers, in one of the worst attacks in months. Women and children were among the 10 wounded in the attack.

"These terrorists were sponsored by Pakistan. Their handlers are across the border. There is also a possibility that they enjoyed local support,” Sitharaman said.

ALSO READ: Based On Pakistan's Actions, Doesn't Appear They Want Peace: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat

Meanwhile, J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti advocated dialogue with Pakistan as the only way to resolve differences.

"We fought and won all wars against Pakistan but even now there is no solution other than dialogue, till when will our jawans and civilians keep dying," Mufti said in the state assembly on Monday.

Later, in a tweet, Mufti again highlighted the importance of resuming talks with Pakistan.

"Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option," she tweeted.

Over the past one year, there has been a significant increase in the number of ceasefire violations, infiltrations, and attacks from across the border. Already in 2018, around 20 people have been killed, including 9 civilians, with more than 75 others getting injured.

The international community has also been pressuring Pakistan to remove from its soil safe havens for terrorists which are leading to 'instability' in the South Asian region. The US, in January 2018, suspended military aid to Pakistan, alleging inaction of the nation in taking significant steps against terrorism, which the US said was hampering the efforts in war-torn Afghanistan.