Amid heightened tensions with Pakistan over the abrogation of Article 370 in the Valley, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Pakistan has no locus standi on Kashmir and that no country is backing the neighbouring on its stand. Addressing a DRDO event in Leh, Singh said Kashmir was always a part of India and remains an internal issue. “I want to ask Pakistan, when had Kashmir belonged to it.,” he said.
Singh also said that the government respects the identity of Pakistan but will not tolerate any comments against Kashmir. “Hum Pakistan ke vajood ka sammaan karte hain, iska yeh arth nahin hai ki vo Kashmir ko lekar koi lagatar bayanbaazi karta rahega.”
He also said India wants to have a good neighbourly relationship with Pakistan, but it should first stop exporting terror to India. Pakistan should focus on addressing human rights violations and atrocities in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, the Union minister said.
Rajnath Singh said US Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a telephonic conversation told him that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 was an internal matter of India. “No country is with Pakistan on the current issue,” Singh added.
Pakistan has been attempting to gather support from the world for its stand against India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir. It had also tried to raise the issue at the United Nations Security Council but got support only from China. Meanwhile, countries like France, Russia, Poland, the US have agreed to India’s stand that Kashmir is an internal issue and should be resolved bilaterally.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to rake the issue again during his UNGA speech next month