New Delhi, August 18, 2019: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said talks with Pakistan would now only be on PoK as he criticised the neighbour for knocking on the doors of the international community and blaming India over the Kashmir issue.
Singh, who was addressing a gathering in Panchkula, said: “A few days ago, the prime minister of Pakistan said India was planning an attack bigger than Balakot. This means that he acknowledges what India did in Balakot.”
Nearly two weeks after 40 CRPF men were killed in Pulwama, IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot on February 26. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.
The minister added, “Article 370 was abrogated in J&K for its development. 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. Also, if talks are held, it will now be on PoK.”
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been on the rise ever since the Narendra Modi government decided to repeal Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
Criticising the move, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India and expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria. It also suspended trade ties and stopped services of the Samjhauta Express.
Pakistan also approached the United Nations Security Council and a closed-door meeting on the Kashmir issue upheld the stand that the contentious issue must be resolved bilaterally. India has maintained that the abrogation of Article 370 is an internal matter.
This is also not the first time Singh has trained guns on Pakistan. Earlier, the minister said India carried out Balakot strikes across the border to destroy terror launch pads before Pulwama-like attack could be planned by Pakistan, which has been continuously keeping a "sinister eye" on Jammu and Kashmir.
"Our neighbouring country is continuously keeping a sinister eye on J&K. It sends terrorists into our territory and disturbs peace in the Valley," he said.
"On February 14, 40 brave jawans of CRPF were martyred in Pulwama in a suicide attack. Our Armed Forces hit back by destroying the terror launch pads with air strikes across the border in Pakistan before it could plan another Pulwama-like attack," he said.