Rajnath Singh’s statement shows India’ robust policy. (Image Credit: ANI)
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh once gain reiterated his stand that any future talks with Pakistan will be only about ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’. Addressing an event in Ladakh today, Singh said that, ‘Pakistan has no locus standi’ on Kashmir. ‘I want to ask Pakistan that why it keeps on crying over Kashmir? When was Kashmir its part? We respect your presence but Pakistan has no locus standi on this matter.’ He also added that, ‘the truth is that PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan are illegally occupied by Pakistan.’
It was on August 18 when Rajnath Singh first made such a statement. Sending out a stern message to Imran Khan government across border, Union Defence Minister Rajnath had said that if New Delhi and Islamabad ever hold any talks in future, it will be only about ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir.’ Addressing an event in Haryana’s Panchkula, Singh had also spoken about abrogation of Article 370 that gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. The Defence Minister had said that the Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir for its ‘development’.
Slamming the Imran Khan government, Singh had said that, “our neighbour is knocking doors of international community saying India made a mistake.” He added that talks with Pakistan are only possible if it stops supporting terror. “If talks are held with Pak it will now be on PoK,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Taking a sharp swipe at those seeking proof of the February 26 pre-dawn airstrikes by the Indian Air Force, Singh said that, “Few days ago, prime minister of Pakistan said that India is planning to take an action bigger than Balakot. It means that Pakistani Prime Minister acknowledges what India did in Balakot.”
Imran Khan had made the statement about India’s ‘intended’ action in PoK during his visit to Muzaffarabad last week. Addressing an event, Khan had said that, "We have information and we have had two National Security Committee meetings. The Pakistan Army has full knowledge that India has made a plan to take action in PoK." He had also added that "Like the action which they took in Balakot after Pulwama, according to our information, they have made a more sinister plan now. To shift the world's focus away from Kashmir, they want to take action in PoK."
Singh’s statement shows India’ robust policy. This is the third time in less than a month when Singh has made an important announcement that can effectively change India’s neighbourhood policy. Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reportedly said that, “Till today, our nuclear policy is 'No First Use'. What happens in future depends on the circumstances."
The statement will not go down with China also. On India’s bifurcation decision, China stuck to its opposition to the creation of Ladakh Union Territory, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi telling his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar that the move "involves Chinese territory". Wang told Jaishankar that the Indian government's announcement of the establishment of the Ladakh Union Territory, "which involves Chinese territory, has posed a challenge to China's sovereignty and violated the two countries' agreement on maintaining peace and stability in the border region".