"Talks With Pak Now Only On PoK," Says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also reiterated India's position that Islamabad's support to terror must stop before a dialogue can be held

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses a BJP rally in Haryana on Sunday


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. "If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK": Rajnath Singh
  2. Pak support to terror must stop before any dialogue, Mr Singh said
  3. His remarks come after he spoke on India's No First Use nuclear policy

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday continued to signal the country's tough stand to Pakistan, suggesting that should bilateral talks happen, it would not be on Jammu and Kashmir, but Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir - the territory under Pakistan's control since it invaded the state in 1947.

"If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK (Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir)," Mr Singh said while addressing a public meeting in Haryana, where assembly elections are expected in October.

He also reiterated the government's position that Islamabad's support to terror must stop before a dialogue can be held.

The minister's comment came days after he said that India reserves the right to revoke its 'No First Use' pledge - the cornerstone of its nuclear weapons policy for decades. It was seen as a reaction to Pakistan's move to raise the government's decision on Jammu and Kashmir in various international forums.

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A majority of nations agreed Jammu and Kashmir was a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The minister underscored the point on Sunday. "Our neighbour is knocking doors of international community, saying India made a mistake," he said, a day after the United Nation's Security Council met to discuss Kashmir, following a request from Pakistan's all-weather ally China.

But the meeting of the 15 nations - five permanent members and 10 rotating members - had ended without any resolution, seen as a massive snub to Pakistan.

A majority of nations agreed that the ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories was a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

They also said no statement or outcome should be issued after the consultations and their will prevailed, leaving China to make a statement in its own capacity, followed by Pakistan.

Rajnath Singh today said neither move of the government was made with any reference to elections.

"People used to say that any move on Article 370 will divide the nation. We were told that BJP won't come back to power after that. I want to tell you people that the BJP is not concerned about vote bank politics. We are more focused on the politics which is about national integration," ANI quoted Rajnath Singh as saying.



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