KALKA (Haryana): Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that talks would be held with Pakistan only on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK,” he said in a public address after flagging off of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ here, some 20 kms from Chandigarh.
The Yatra, being held in the run upto Haryana’s upcoming Assembly elections, will pass through the state’s 90 Assembly seats and conclude with a rally in Rohtak on September 8.
BJP’s state election-in-charge and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Cabinet colleagues attended the flagging off of the Yatra.
Referring to August 5 abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was done for the development of the State.
“Our neighbour is knocking on the doors of the international community saying India made a mistake. Talks with Pakistan will be held only if it stops supporting terror,” he categorically said. He said a few days ago Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told his country that India was planning to take an action bigger than Balakot. “So Pakistan PM does acknowledge what India did in Balakot,” Rajnath Singh said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Sunday attacked Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over his statement, saying it is “reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in” after its Kashmir move.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a statement, also condemned the “indefensible lock-down” in Indian Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have seen the comments made by the Indian Defence Minister today. These are reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in, after its illegal and unilateral actions imperiling peace and security in the region and beyond,” he said.
“Equally condemnable is the completely indefensible lock-down of the entire population in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, that has gone on for two weeks, and continues to deepen the dire humanitarian tragedy as reported by the international human rights organisations and the international media.
“The world community, including the United Nations Security Council, has taken cognizance of this utterly untenable situation,” the Pakistani Foreign Minister said.
Qureshi said Pakistan’s position on Kashmir is based on the UN Charter principles and international law, and remains unchanged, and the Kashmir dispute needs to be decided on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolutions, and in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. (IANS)