If talks take place with Pak, will be on PoK only: Rajnath

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/19/2019 1:28:47 AM

KALKA (Haryana), Aug 18 (Agencies): Asserting that dialogue with Pakistan is not possible till it stops aiding and abetting terrorism, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that if talks are held with Pakistan they will be only on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Singh was addressing a public rally ahead of flagging off the BJP’s Jan Ashirwad rally for the assembly polls.
“If talks take place (with Pakistan), it will be on PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and not on any other issue,” he said.
“If at all there have to be any talks with Pakistan they will only happen when it stops aiding and abetting terrorism,” he said while noting that people in Pakistan want a dialogue between India and Pakistan.
On what issue should we have talks and why, the defence minister asked.
On the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, he said the step had weakened the neighbouring country and has become a cause of concern for them.
“Now it (Pak) is knocking every door and approaching various countries seeking help for saving them. What crime have we committed? Why are we being threatened? However, the world’s most powerful country America has snubbed Pakistan and asked it to go back and initiate a dialogue with India,” he said.
He said Pakistan want to destabilise and weaken India through terrorism.
“At times Pakistan wants to break our country by using terrorism. But our 56-inch chest PM has shown to the country how to take decisions. After the Pulwama attack our Air Force carried out Balakot strike,” he said.
Rajnath said that India was now only “interested in talking about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).” Rajnath Singh perhaps implied that Kashmir was also out of the table now that Pakistan continuously tried to internationalise the bilateral matter that is Kashmir.
He said, “Article 370 was abrogated in J&K for its development. Our neighbour is knocking doors of the international community and saying India has made a mistake. Talks with Pakistan will be held only if it stops supporting terror. If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who remained in denial on Balakot strike, had recently said that India was planning a bigger strike than Balakot which means he has admitted that the Balakot air strike took place, the defence minister said.
He added, “Few days ago, prime minister of Pakistan said that India is planning to take an action bigger than Balakot. It means that Pakistan PM acknowledges what India did in Balakot." While addressing the Pakistan National Assembly on its independence day, Imran Khan had claimed that Pakistan intelligence sources have revealed that India is planning a far bigger action in PAK compared to the Balakot airstrikes of February 26.
So far Pakistan had maintained that while IAF jets had entered its airspace and carried out strikes in Balakot, the air force had failed to do any damages. Pakistan went ahead and said that only a few trees in the area were destroyed in the IAF strikes. The authorities however refused to let any mediapersons go near the site and the area was put under strict vigil.
A flock of IAF jets carried out a pre-emptive air strike in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26, days after the Pulwama terror attack and destroyed a prominent Jaish-e-Mohammed terror base, killing several militants housed inside the building. Hinting at a shift in India's nuclear policy, a few days ago Rajnath Singh said India's 'no first use' nuclear policy is not cast in stone and may change in the future depending on circumstances.

 

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