Rajnath Singh attacks Pakistan on Kashmir, asks‘when was Kashmir ever yours?’

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said New Delhi can’t talk with Islamabad if it continues trying to destabilise India.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday trained his guns on Pakistan and said it has no locus standi on Kashmir. Singh said Pakistan’s efforts to seek support from other countries on the abrogation of Article 370 won’t bear any fruit and no one is backing Islamabad.

Rajnath Singh is on his first visit to Ladakh after it was declared a Union Territory. Singh, addressing an event of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said New Delhi can’t talk with Islamabad if it continues trying to destabilise India.

“I want to ask Pakistan, when did Kashmir ever belong to you. Kashmir was always part of India. Pakistan has no locus standi on this matter,” he said.

The defence minister said Pakistan should instead focus on human rights violations and atrocities in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He had earlier said that talks with Islamabad can only be held on the issue of PoK. Rajnath Singh also said US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had told him that nullification of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was India’s internal matter.

Rajnath Singh had also hinted that India might change its “no first use” policy for nuclear weapons amid tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Pakistan has been trying to garner international support over Article 370 but it hasn’t met with any success. The United Nations Security did hold closed-door consultations on the Kashmir issue without granting Pakistan a formal and open meeting. Pakistan’s request for a formal meeting of the Security Council garnered only China’s support.

Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan described India’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status as a “historic blunder”. In an address to the nation, Imran Khan said, “Time will prove this is a historic opportunity for the people of Kashmir to attain freedom because of their (India’s) mistake due to arrogance.”

New Delhi has described the changes in Kashmir as purely an internal matter and has indicated that the Kashmir issue will not be part of any future discussions with Pakistan.

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