Leh, August 29:
Pakistan has no locus standi on Kashmir and no country is backing it on the “current issue”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday amid Islamabad’s efforts to internationalise the Centre’s move to abrogate provisions of Article 370.
Addressing a DRDO event here, Singh asked how can India talk to Pakistan when it keeps trying to destabilise India using terror.
India wants to have a good neighbourly relationship with Pakistan, but it should first stop exporting terror to India, Singh said.
“Pakistan has no locus standi on Kashmir. However, it is in illegal occupation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including Gilgit Baltistan,” the minister said after inaugurating the ‘Kisan-Jawan Vigyan Mela’.
Parliament had passed an unanimous resolution in February 1994 in which India’s stand had been made clear, Singh said.
“I want to ask Pakistan, when had Kashmir belonged to it. Pakistan was also formed out of India,” he said.
India respects Pakistan’s existence, but that does not mean that it can keep making statements on Kashmir, Singh said.
“Kashmir has been ours, there has been no doubt about that in the country. The truth is that PoK and Gilgit Baltistan is in illegal occupation of Pakistan. Pakistan should focus on addressing human rights violations and atrocities in PoK,” Singh said.
He said US Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a telephonic conversation told him that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 was an internal matter of India.
“No country is with Pakistan on the current issue,” Singh said.
He also cited Hindi proverb ‘begani shaadi mein abdullah deewana’ to assert that Pakistan had nothing to do with Kashmir.
Earlier this month, the government had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided the state into Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“When we made a law to make Ladakh a separate Union Territory then we not only respected the public sentiment here but also gave a solution to the problems of the people,” Singh said.
“Our prime minister has made it clear that localised solution will be brought in for India’s strategic areas,” he said.
Organised by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) DRDO, the ‘Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela’ is a big step towards strengthening the strategic ecosystem in Ladakh, Singh said.