Pakistan attacks Rajnath Singh over PoK comments

Islamabad, Aug 18 (IANS) Pakistan on Sunday attacked Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over his statement that any talk with Pakistan would only be on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying it is "reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in" after its Kashmir move.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a statement, also condemned the "indefensible lock-down" in Indian Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have seen the comments made by the Indian Defence Minister today. These are reflective of the predicament that India finds itself in, after its illegal and unilateral actions imperiling peace and security in the region and beyond," he said.

"Equally condemnable is the completely indefensible lock-down of the entire population in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, that has gone on for two weeks, and continues to deepen the dire humanitarian tragedy as reported by the international human rights organisations and the international media.

"The world community, including the United Nations Security Council, has taken cognizance of this utterly untenable situation," the Pakistani Foreign Minister said.

Qureshi said Pakistan's position on Kashmir is based on the UN Charter principles and international law, and remains unchanged, and the Kashmir dispute needs to be decided on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolutions, and in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Rajnath Singh, speaking in Kalka, Haryana, said: "If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on PoK."

Referring to the August 5 abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was done for the development of the state.

"Our neighbour is knocking on the doors of the international community saying India made a mistake. Talks with Pakistan will be held only if it stops supporting terror," Singh said.

The Defence Minister said a few days ago, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told his country that India was planning to take an action bigger than Balakot. "So, Pakistan PM does acknowledge what India did in Balakot," he said.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah had said in Parliament that PoK and Aksai Chin are part of Kashmir.

--IANS

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