India: Talks with Pak won’t be only on Kashmir, also PoK

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Talks with Pak won’t be only on Kashmir, also PoK: Rajnath Singh

Both houses of Indian Parliament —Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha—witnessed protests over Trump’s stunning claim. The opposition, led by the Congress, demanded a statement by PM Modi.

INDIA Updated: Jul 24, 2019 15:35 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (PTI photo)

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t discuss Kashmir with US president Donald Trump and ruled out any possibility of mediation on the issue.

“As S Jaishankar ji (External Affairs Minister) said Kashmir issue was not discussed in President Trump and PM Modi meeting. There is no question of mediation in Kashmir issue as it will be against the Simla agreement,” Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha.

“Kashmir is an issue of national pride for us. We can never compromise with it… if there would be any talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, it will also include Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Singh said.

Watch | Uproar in LS: Oppn insists PM Modi must clarify on Trump’s Kashmir remark

Uproar in LS: Oppn insists PM Modi must clarify on Trump’s Kashmir remark
Opposition demanded PM Modi’s clarification over Trump’s claims on Kashmir issue in Lok Sabha today. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned PM Modi’s silence over the issue.
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Trump, speaking to reporters during Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s US visit, had claimed that PM Modi had asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue. India was quick to rebut the US president’s claim with external affairs minister S Jaishankar confirming that no such request was made.

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The US did backtrack later, saying that it would assist in talks between India and Pakistan and that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.

When asked about Trump’s claim on Wednesday, a top advisor said the president “does not make up things”. “The President does not make anything up. That’s a very rude question in my opinion. I am going to stay out of that. It’s outside of my lane. It’s for Mr (National Security Advisor John) Bolton, Mr (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and President,” Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said.

Both houses of Indian Parliament —Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha—witnessed protests over Trump’s stunning claim. The opposition, led by the Congress, demanded a statement by PM Modi. The opposition continued its demand on Wednesday and staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted that PM Modi must “must tell the nation what transpired” in his meeting with Donald Trump. “President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir! If true, PM Modi has betrayed India’s interests & 1972 Simla Agreement. A weak Foreign Ministry denial won’t do,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

First Published: Jul 24, 2019 12:24 IST

No BJP role in Jammu-Kashmir assembly dissolution: Rajnath Singh

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

No BJP role in Jammu-Kashmir assembly dissolution: Rajnath Singh

Governor Malik dissolved the state assembly late on Wednesday night after claims for forming a new government were pressed both by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone.

INDIA Updated: Nov 23, 2018 07:05 IST

Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times
Jammu and Kashmir,Rajnath Singh,BJP
Home Minister Rajnath Singh(Waseem Andrabi/ HT File Photo)

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday distanced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state assembly, saying Malik acted after concluding that it wasn’t possible for a new state government to be formed in the current scenario.

“The governor of J&K took the decision after considering the political situation there; he reached to a conclusion that government formation was not possible in the state,” Singh said in an interview with Hindustan Times. “It was a decision taken by the governor. The BJP has no role. It is unfortunate that some section is trying to drag the BJP into this.”

Governor Malik dissolved the state assembly late on Wednesday night after claims for forming a new government were pressed both by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone. Mufti said she had the support of PDP’s arch rival National Conference (NC) and the Congress, claiming the backing of 56 MLAs. Lone said he had the support of the BJP’s 25 legislators and “more than 18” other members in the 87-seat assembly.

The home minister questioned Mufti’s claim of having secured the support of the Congress. “Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has made a statement that suggests his party had not supported PDP’s bid to form the government. Why did he make that statement if Mufti was right,” Singh asked.

Another senior government functionary claimed that the governor had been considering dissolution of the assembly for the “past three-four days” and there had been no pressure on him from the Centre or any leader to pre-empt Mufti’s bid to form government.

“The governor, it looks, felt there was not a situation where any party had the numbers to form the government,” Singh said. The state has been under governor’s rule since June.

The home minister rejected any notion that the BJP had been spooked by the fact that the PDP, the NC and the Congress had come together to stake a claim for forming a government in J&K. “Where does the question of BJP getting unnerved arise in this case?. It was a decision of the governor,” he said.

The home minister credited Malik for starting the political process in Kashmir.

Singh dismissed concerns that the dissolution of the assembly may lead to another round of uncertainty in Kashmir, and said fresh election will be the obvious next step after Wednesday’s decision.

First Published: Nov 23, 2018 07:04 IST