New Delhi - India is willing to show restraint and end cross-border firing provided Pakistan stops provocative attempts to violate a 2003 ceasefire pact between the two countries, India’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The Indian government is also open to talks, but the onus was on Pakistan given its recent attempts to push terrorists into India under the cover of gunfire from Pakistan. “We are for a dialogue with Pakistan, but talks and terror cannot happen together. It is incumbent on Pakistan to create the necessary environment for a conducive bilateral dialogue to happen,” foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.

Swarup said despite India’s calls for restraint, “Pakistan forces committed 27 ceasefire violations between 16 and 21 November” using artillery and 120mm heavy mortars against Indian posts. In response to Pakistan’s charge that India targeted a civilian bus and ambulance on Wednesday, Swarup said: “We never intentionally target Pakistani posts across the LoC.”

OVERFLIGHT NOD TO PAK NOT DENIED

India also denied that it has rejected overflight clearance to Pakistan, as things worsen along the Line of Control (LoC).

The Indian foreign ministry rubbished claims and said the onus was on Pakistan to provide information regarding the nature of cargo and passengers in case overflight clearance was required for a military aircraft. “As per Appendix A to the 1991 Agreement, essential information concerning the nature of cargo and passengers is required in respect of military aircraft. Requests from the government of Pakistan were received in a couple of cases without this essential information,” Swarup told media representatives here.

According to the MEA, despite several reminders, including in a meeting between Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner and India’s Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) in New Delhi on November 9, Pakistan did not provide the information. “Our expectation is that Pakistan will respect requirements mutually agreed in bilateral agreements,” added Swarup.

The MEA also cited another incident where Pakistan had provided all necessary information for a Gulfstream aircraft of Pakistan Air Force proposing to carry a VIP delegation from Lahore to Colombo and back. “The overflight permission (in this case) was provided expeditiously,” said Swarup.