Talks with Pak only on PoK, Imran acknowledged Balakote raid: DM

Pak frustrated, knocking doors of world
‘Abrogation of 370 will brighten future of youth’

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 18: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today declared that there will be no talks with Pakistan till it acts against terrorism and if talks with the neighbouring country are held in future, they would be only on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In a series of tweets and address to a rally at Kalka in Haryana today, Rajnath said: “Some people say talks should be held with Pakistan but till it end terrorism there will be no talks. And in future, if talks are held with Pakistan, they will be on PoK only’’.
“About what should we talk? What’s the issue on which there should be talks? Why there should be a talk? If there would be any talk with Pakistan, it would happen only when Pakistan stops supporting terror from its soil,” he asserted.
The Defence Minister said Pakistan Prime Minister (Imran Khan) has acknowledged Indian action in Balakote post-Pulwama terror attack.
“Few days ago, the Prime Minister of Pakistan said that India is planning to take an action bigger than Balakote. It means that Pakistan Prime Minister has acknowledged what India did in Balakote,’’ Rajnath said.

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It may be recalled here that India had carried out major air strike in Balakote at Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province of Pakistan targeting Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in which large number of militants were killed. The raid was carried out on February 24 to avenge Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred.
Referring to abrogation of special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir including Articles 370 and 35-A, Rajnath said abrogation of the Articles by the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead to development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and brighten future of the youth there by bringing them into the mainstream of development.
Without naming Pakistan, the Defence Minister said one of our neighbours has been frustrated following scrapping of Articles 370 and 35-A and was knocking at the doors of several countries in the world.
“Have we committed any crime (by abrogating Articles 370 and 35-A)’’? Rajnath asked and said America, perceived to be the most powerful country in the world by people, has snubbed Pakistan, telling them to initiate a dialogue with India.
The Union Minister further stressed that the Opposition used to say if anybody touched Article 370, the country would be divided and the BJP won’t be able to come to power.
“I want to say it clearly that the BJP does not do politics for forming Government. We do politics of nation building. Under no circumstances, we will allow the prestige of our country to be tarnished,” he added.
On the promises made in their election manifesto, Singh said, “Our Prime Minister keeps telling us to remain committed to the promises made in the manifesto. ‘Pran jaye par vachan na jaye’. We do not go back on what we have promised. We scrapped provisions of Articles 370 and 35-A for J&K’s interests, keeping in view the future of its youth,” he said.
Singh said for the present Government, India’s respect, pride and prestige were above all and they were committed to this and it was not any election stunt.
He also accused Pakistan of wanting to destabilise and weaken India through terrorism.
“At times, Pakistan wants to break our country by using terrorism. But our Prime Minister has shown that he has a 56-inch chest. He took a decision to give a befitting reply after the Pulwama terror attack as our Air Force carried out the Balakote strike,” he said.
PTI adds:
Hitting out at the Congress Party over the purchase of Rafale jets, Singh said, “Had we got Rafale, our Air Force need not have gone to Balakote. We could have eliminated those terrorists from our land itself.”
He said the Government would purchase the Rafale jets soon.
The Defence Minister also highlighted the development works undertaken by the Government during its second term.
“We have carried out a number of development works, but we have not left issues which concern nation’s pride. Whatever we had said in our election manifesto, we are committed to fulfill that, be that the revocation of Article 370,” Rajnath said.
Rajnath also said their party did not indulge in the politics of dividing Hindu and Muslims.
“Our thinking is that the two are brothers. Those who indulge in the vote-bank politics divide the communities in a bid to capture power,” the BJP leader said.
Singh appealed to the people of Haryana to bring back the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Government by helping the BJP realize its target of winning 75 seats in the 90-member State Assembly.