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Talks, if any, with Pakistan would focus only on PoK, says Rajnath Singh

Dialogue will happen if Islamabad ‘stops supporting terror from its soil,’ says Defence Minister

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said any future talks with Pakistan would focus only on the status of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Mr. Singh, who was addressing the BJP’s ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’ in Haryana’s Kalka, said Pakistan wanted to destabilise India through terrorism, and there would be no talks with the country unless it acted against terrorists and stopped supporting terror activities.

“...People from Pakistan say there should be talks between India and Pakistan. About what should we talk? What’s the issue on which there should be talks? Why should there be talks? If there are to be any talks with Pakistan, they will happen only when Pakistan stops supporting terror from its soil. Until then, there’s no reason for any talks,” he said.

“Also, in future, if talks are held with Pakistan, they will be on the issue of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and no other issue,” Mr. Singh said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently acknowledged the killing of terrorists in the IAF’s Balakot air strike after denying it earlier, Mr. Singh said. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister a few days ago said in PoK that India is planning an air strike even bigger than the Balakot one. This means that Pakistan’s Prime Minister has accepted the fact India conducted an air strike in Balakot and a large number of terrorists were killed in it,” he said.

Mr. Singh said Article 370 and 35A have been revoked from Jammu and Kashmir, which would remove all obstacles in the path of holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“On the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has been knocking on the doors of various countries but Pakistan has been asked to convene talks with India,” he said.

With an eye on the upcoming Assembly polls in Haryana, due later this year, the ruling BJP has raised the pitch of its campaign as it flagged off the ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’, which will be carried out in all the 90 Assembly constituencies of the State. The ‘yatra’ will conclude at Rohtak on September 8.

Mr. Singh urged people to re-elect the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Assembly polls as the party under the leadership of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had successfully given a clean and transparent government in the past five years.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:33:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/talks-if-any-with-pakistan-would-focus-only-on-pok-says-rajnath-singh/article29125483.ece

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