Talks with Pakistan only on PoK, not J&K: Rajnath Singh
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday reiterated India's tough stand to Pakistan, asserting that bilateral talks, if any, will now focus only on Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and not Jammu & Kashmir. He criticized Pakistan for blaming India for the Kashmir issue and approaching the UN over the matter. He was addressing a public meeting in Haryana where Assembly elections are due in October. Here's more.
Singh also reiterated the Center's position that Pakistan should stop supporting terror outfits before holding a dialogue with India. Notably, his comments come only days after he said that India can revoke its "No First Use" nuclear weapons policy - a statement being seen as a response to Pakistan's move to take up the Indian Government's decision on J&K in several international forums.
"...People from Pakistan say there should be talks between India and Pakistan. About what should we talk? What's the issue on which there should be a talk? Why there should be a talk?," Singh said at BJP's "Jan Ashirwad Yatra" in Kalka of Haryana's Panchkula.
"If there would be any talks with Pakistan, it would happen only when Pakistan stops supporting terror from its soil until then there's no reason for any talks," Singh said at the BJP rally in Haryana "Also, in future, if talks are held with Pakistan, then it will be on the issue of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and no other issue," the Defense Minister said.
"Our neighbor (Pakistan) is knocking doors of international community, saying India made a mistake (abrogation of Article 370 and J&K bifurcation)," Singh said at the rally. This comes a day after the United Nations Security Council discussed the Kashmir issue on the request of China, Pakistan's all-weather ally. However, the meeting was reportedly concluded with no resolution in a major snub to Pakistan.
Rajnath Singh in Panchkula,Haryana: Article 370 was abrogated in JK for its development.Our neighbour is knocking doors of intl. community saying India made a mistake.Talks with Pak will be held only if it stops supporting terror. If talks are held with Pak it will now be on PoK pic.twitter.com/HBm7EIeezL— ANI (@ANI) August 18, 2019
However, at the UNSC meeting, a majority of the member nations agreed that the removal of the special status granted to Jammu & Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
"People used to say that any move on Article 370 will divide the nation. We were told that BJP won't come back to power after that," ANI quoted Singh as saying. "I want to tell you, people, that BJP is not concerned about vote bank politics. We are more focused on the politics which is about national integration," he said at the rally.