Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said any discussion with Pakistan would be restricted to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, PTI reported. He added that dialogue with Islamabad can be held only if it stops facilitating terrorism.
Singh said the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status had weakened Pakistan and become a cause of concern for them. “Now it [Pakistan] is knocking every door and approaching various countries seeking help for saving them,” the defence minister said at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Jan Ashirward’ rally in Haryana. “What crime have we committed? Why are we being threatened? However, the world’s most powerful country America has snubbed Pakistan and asked it to go back and initiate a dialogue with India.”
Pakistan wanted to “break our country” through terrorism, Singh claimed. “But our 56-inch chest PM [Narendra Modi] has shown to the country how to take decisions,” he said. “After the Pulwama attack our Air Force carried out Balakot strike.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had “remained in denial on Balakot strike” but had recently said India was planning a bigger airstrike, said the defence minister. This was Khan’s admission that the airstrikes in February had happened, Singh added.
Singh’s remarks came two days after he said India had always adhered to its “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons but “what happens in the future will depend on circumstances”.
The same day, the United Nations Security Council held a rare closed-door meeting over the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. While, India maintained its stand that Kashmir was “entirely an internal matter”, Pakistan said it was not the “last step” it had taken. China, which supported Pakistan’s decision for a United Nations intervention, hoped that the “relevant parties will exercise restraint and refrain from taking unilateral actions”.
On Saturday, Pakistan said ensuring resolution of the dispute was the responsibility of the United Nations Security Council. Last week, India had rescinded the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of Constitution, angering the neighbouring country.