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This is not time for talks with Pakistan, says minister

Puri refused to elaborate on what would be an appropriate response to the Pulwama attack.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: February 24, 2019 5:15:29 am
Hardeep Singh Puri

Maintaining that the men behind the Pulwama attack were killed within 100 hours, and that the UN Security Council’s resolution condemning the attack is a success of the Narendra Modi government, Union MoS Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said that through terrorism, Pakistan wants to force India to start a dialogue, but this is “no time for dialogue”.

Calling the Kashmir issue a “one-line issue”, Puri, who was in Rajkot to lead the BJP’s ‘Bharat ke mann ki baat, Modi ke saath’ campaign, said Pakistan is using terrorism as an instrument of policy.

Addressing the media, Puri said, “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India — there cannot be a second opinion on this. But they (Pakistan) want to spread terrorism, and with such terrorist strikes they want to force us to the table for dialogue. But I believe, they have made a big mistake — there is government of Modi (at the Centre), which is a very strong government.”

Puri refused to elaborate on what would be an appropriate response to the Pulwama attack.

Puri said, “In the past, Pakistan’s friends used to block any condemnation by the UN Security Council (UNSC) of such attacks. But this time, the Security Council has condemned the attack and passed a resolution, terming the attack a heinous and cowardly act.”

Taking a dig at Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks that the entire nation of Pakistan should not be demonised for the attack, Puri said, “This is no time for jhappi and pappi (hugs and kisses) politics.”

On the ongoing debate over whether to play Pakistan in the forthcoming cricket World Cup, the minister said he is not in favour of cricketing ties with Pakistan in the present circumstances.

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