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    Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol a street in Srinagar as the city remains under curfew following weeks of violence in Kashmir August 27, 2016

    Talks With Islamabad Can Only be About 'Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir' - Indian Defence Minister

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Defence Minister and senior leader of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajnath Singh on Sunday supported his party's election campaign for upcoming regional assembly polls in Haryana from northern city of Kalka.

    Addressing a huge gathering in the presence of the State Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khatar and other BJP leaders, Rajnath Singh said the only issue that remains to be discussed with Islamabad is the contested "Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir".

    “Many say we should talk to Pakistan. On what issue...what are the issues on which we should talk to Pakistan? Why should we talk to Pakistan? Talks can only be held when Pakistan stops exporting terrorists, we have no issue to talk to Pakistan, until it stops exporting terrorists. Our neighbour wants to weaken us through terrorists. We will give befitting reply to them. Even if we would talk to Pakistan, it would only be on Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir", said Singh.

    ​Rajnath Singh claimed, Pakistan is knocking on the doors of other countries to help it out. It also threatens India now and then and New Delhi is capable of giving a befitting response to any misadventure by Pakistan.

    On 5 August, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a decree removing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that had ensured a special status for Jammu and Kashmir. Under the new Indian government initiative, Jammu and Kashmir will be divided into two territories.

    India and Pakistan have contested the Kashmir region, the southern part of which lies in India's Jammu and Kashmir, since the end of British rule in 1947. Despite a ceasefire reached in 2003 following several armed conflicts, instability in the region continued, leading to the emergence of various extremist groups. Tensions increased earlier this year when the Indian military conducted airstrikes in response to an attack allegedly orchestrated by a terrorist group reportedly based on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.


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