Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday claimed that more than three-fourth of Jammu and Kashmir’s population was in favour of the abrogation of Article 370, reported PTI. He compared Article 370 with cancer that had allowed the state to bleed.

“The BJP had never softened its stance on Article 370, irrespective of whether it was at the helm or not,” Singh said while addressing a Jan Jagran Sabha organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Patna. “Its abrogation has proved that the party is honest and credible.”

The Centre scrapped the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into Union Territories on August 5. Jammu and Kashmir has been under a curfew since then, though restrictions are being lifted gradually. National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti have been put under detention, among others.

The defence minister also warned Pakistan against repeating the mistakes of 1965 and 1971. “If they repeat it, then they should think what will become of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” said Singh, according to Hindustan Times. “Human rights violations are committed against Balochs and Pashtuns there. If it continues, no power in will be able to protect Pakistan from disintegrating further.”

Singh asked Islamabad not to promote cross-border terrorism. “Talks with Pakistan
will henceforth resume only after it stops promoting terrorism,” he said. “And the country must keep in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and discussion can only take place about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”

The tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated since India’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5. Pakistan, which claims Kashmir and has fought three wars with India over the region, responded by downgrading diplomatic ties and suspending bilateral trade. It has raised the matter at the United Nations Security Council, and threatened to take it to the UN Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice as well.

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