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If talks happen with Pakistan, it will be on PoK: Rajnath Singh

Singh's remark comes days after he hinted that even though India remains committed to the doctrine of 'no first use' for nuclear weapons, it may not be etched in stone and that "what happens in future depends on the circumstances."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 18, 2019 4:11:58 pm
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Amid tensions with Pakistan over the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday asserted that if bilateral talks between the two countries were to happen, it will be on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Speaking at the ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’ of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Panchkula, Singh reiterated India’s stand on the Kashmir issue, saying India will not initiate a dialogue with Pakistan as long as it supports terror on its soil. “Some people believe that talks should be held with Pakistan but as long as Pakistan supports terror, there will be no talks. If there will be talks, it will be on PoK,” he said.

Singh’s remark comes days after he hinted that even though India remains committed to the doctrine of ‘no first use’ for nuclear weapons, it may not be etched in stone and that “what happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

On the government’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370, Singh said the move has “baffled Pakistan which is knocking on the doors of the international community”.

Pakistan has urged the international community to intervene in the Jammu and Kashmir issue. On Friday, the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) held a closed-door meeting to have “informal consultations on J&K” after China approached Poland, which holds the UNSC presidency this month, to discuss Pakistan’s letter on India’s move to revoke J&K’s special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories. The meeting on Kashmir by the Security Council ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ. Most of the members stressed that the issue is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

“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,” Singh said referring to India’s airstrike inside Pakistan in a “non-military preemptive action” after the Pulwama attack by a Jaish operative that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

Singh was addressing a public meeting in Haryana, which goes to poll in October this year. Defending the revocation of Article 370, Singh said the decision was taken “for the development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and for the future of the youth of the region.”

Pakistan has strongly rejected the Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s move of scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and said it was against the UNSC resolutions. Pakistan also expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India has categorically conveyed to the international community that its move on Article 370 was an “internal matter” and advised Pakistan to “accept the reality”.

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