Talks with Pakistan now will only be about PoK, says Rajnath Singh

Youngsters play cricket in Srinagar, where restrictions are on since August 5 Photo: PTI
The local administration, which is currently under Centre’s control, tightened restrictions in some parts of Srinagar and across Kashmir on Sunday, following incidents of violence in the last 24 hours. In the Jammu region, the administration cut off low-speed (2G) mobile internet services in five districts on Sunday to check rumour mongering. The move came within 24 hours of services being restored.


Addressing a public meeting in Haryana’s Kalka ahead of flagging the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for the Assembly polls in the state, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said no dialogue with Pakistan was possible until stops aiding and abetting terrorism. He said if talks are held with Islamabad they will be only on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).


“Now it (Pakistan) 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 as the most powerful country in the world by people, has snubbed Pakistan, telling them to initiate a dialogue with India,” the defence minister said.


Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday tweeted his concern about the “safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal” under the control of the “fascist, racist Hindu supremacist” Narendra Modi government and urged the international community to take notice. His comments come two days after Rajnath had indicated India could relook at its “no-first use” policy on nuclear weapons.


“The world must also seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal in the control of the fascist, racist Hindu supremacist Modi government. This is an issue that impacts not just the region but the world,” Khan tweeted. The Pakistan Army has said a nuclear attack by India was a possibility.


Rumblings continued in the Congress on the issue. Its senior Haryana leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said he supported the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap provisions of Article 370. Assembly polls in Haryana, along with Jharkhand and Maharashtra, are due by October.


“(Article) 370 was removed and many of my colleagues opposed it. My party has lost its way a bit. It is not the old Congress any more. When it comes to issues of patriotism and self-respect, I will never compromise,” Hooda said at a political rally in Haryana’s Rohtak.


Deepinder said he supported the move but has reservations about the “method” adopted by the government.

In Kashmir, the restrictions were tightened in areas that witnessed trouble on Saturday after the curbs were eased in several areas of the city and elsewhere in the valley, officials said. They said protests took place at around a dozen places in which several protesters were injured.


The officials said the flights carrying around 300 pilgrims landed at the Srinagar airport in the morning.  Elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth movement of pilgrims to their respective destinations, they said.


Government spokesman Rohit Kansal had on Saturday said the restrictions were eased in 35 police station areas of the valley. However, several places witnessed clashes between groups of youth and security forces, leading to reimposition of the curbs.


Landline telephone services have been restored in several areas of the city as the process to bring more areas on the telecom map was going on, the officials said.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel