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Union ministers raise pitch on PoK issue

PTI     August 18, 2019

Kalka/Jammu, Aug 18 (PTI) Raising the pitch on PoK issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said any talks with Pakistan in future would be only about Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while his ministerial colleague Jitendra Singh voiced hope that the region would be integrated with India. Rajnath Singh, who was addressing a public rally in Haryana's Kalka, said there would be no talks with Pakistan unless it acts against terrorists and stops supporting terror activities. "If talks take place (with Pakistan), it will be on PoK and not on any other issue," he said. Referring to scrapping of the provision granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, Singh said the decision had sent jitters in Pakistan. Addressing a meet organised by the BJP's J-K unit at party headquarters in Jammu, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said after the revocation of Article 370 provisions, people should now pray for the integration of PoK with India in their lifetime. "We are lucky that it (revoking of the special status) happened in our lifetime. It is because of the sacrifices of our three generations," Singh, who is Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office, said . He said, "After this historic step, let us move forward with a positive thinking of freeing PoK from the illegal occupation of Pakistan and making it an integral part of the country in accordance with the unanimously passed resolution in Parliament (in 1994)." "Let us pray that we see the integration of PoK with the country and people freely visit Muzaffarabad (capital of PoK)," he added. Lashing out at Pakistan, Rajnath Singh said, "Now it is knocking every door and approaching various countries for help. Have we committed any crime? And they are trying to threaten us. However, America, perceived to be the most powerful country in the world by people, has snubbed Pakistan, telling them to initiate a dialogue with India," he said. The minister said people in Pakistan say there should be talks between India and Pakistan. "What's the issue on which there should be talks? Why should there be talks? If there would be any talks with Pakistan, it would happen only when Pakistan stops supporting terror from its soil," he asserted. He said Pakistan wanted to destabilise and weaken India through terrorism. "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 Balakot strike," he said. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who remained in denial on Balakot strike, had recently said that India was planning a bigger strike than Balakot which meant he had admitted that the Balakot air strike took place and a large number of terrorists were eliminated, the defence minister said. Hitting out at the Congress over the Rafale fighter jets issue, the Defence Minister said, "Had we got Rafale, our Air Force need not have gone to Balakot. We could have eliminated those terrorists from our land itself." He said the government would purchase the Rafale jets soon. The Union minister said that the Opposition used to claim that 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 said at the rally ahead of the flagging off the BJP's Jan Ashirwad Yatra for the October assembly polls in Haryana. On the BJP election manifesto, Rajanth 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 Article 370 and 35-A in J-K's interest, keeping in mind the future of its youths…," he said. PTI SUN VSD TAS RDK RT


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