NEW DELHI - Pakistani High Commissioner Salman Bashir on Sunday said India’s reaction to the August 6 killing of five Indian soldiers may have been based on an ‘afterthought’. Bashir claimed the Indian DGMO did not raise the killings with his Pakistani counterpart in a hotline conversation hours after the incident last Tuesday.

“On the morning of August 6, there was a hotline conversation between DGMO of the two sides and I am told that the Indian side did not mention any violation of the LoC at that time,’’ Bashir said in a TV interview. “So, it seems to me that a lot of constructions are being put on the incident. As I have said, I am not able to put specifics of it,” he added.

The Pakistani envoy suggested that India’s second official reaction on Thursday, in which it blamed the Pakistan army, may have been an afterthought. He was asked if he really thought that India did not initially believe that the attack was carried out by Pakistan army regulars.

“I would not say that this is the conclusion I am drawing but it is very evident from the way things have happened in terms of the statements, that there is what I say an afterthought that is involved,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview to the same TV channel, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Pakistan’s civilian government must accept responsibility for the attack. “The responsibility must rest with the government. Our meeting point is the civilian elected government of Pakistan, not the Pakistan army or any other agency,” he said.

Referring to Sharif’s statement on killing of five Indian soldiers, Khurshid rued that there was no indication of acceptance of responsibility for the attack even if there was regret. “Whether I can expect or not, we have said that we expect responsibility.

That hasn’t happened, one. Two, the other concern of what we have been expecting... culpability for what happened in Mumbai. There is no indication of that. And, finally, the statement doesn’t take into account, the outreach and the extra mile that India has periodically gone to overcome great difficulties posed,” Khurshid said.