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October 14, 2019

Indian defence minister threatens Pakistan

Top Story

October 14, 2019

NEW DELHI: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday gave a so-called 'polite suggestion' to Pakistan, asking the neighbour to change the direction of their thinking or else they will be divided into several parts.

He was speaking at a rally in Haryana’s Pataudi when he made the remarks. "I would like to suggest Pakistan work honestly, eliminate terrorism and maintain brotherhood. We are neighbours and we want to walk together. If you don't fight terrorism honestly, I clearly state that India has the ability to fight fundamentalist forces," he said.

Addressing another rally in Karnal, Rajnath gave a piece of advice to Prime Minister Imran Khan saying that India is ready to assist Pakistan if the neighbouring country is serious enough to combat terror on its soil. He said that India will even send its armed forces to Pakistan in this regard if the need arises. He also slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan for his stance on Kashmir.

More: Talks now only on Azad Kashmir: Rajnath

"I was listening to Imran Khan's speech where he had said that till Kashmir gets freedom, we will continue our fight over it. He also said that his country will continue to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums. Forget about Kashmir, don't even think about it. Raise the matter, nothing will happen. No one can exert pressure on us," he said.

The Indian defence minister said that the country iscapable is giving a befitting reply to any ‘misadventure’ by Pakistan. Pakistan castigating India and its defence minister Rajnath Singh, asked India to withdraw itself from perpetrating worst order state terrorism against the innocent people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) instead offering to commit its troops in the neighbouring country.

Highly-placed sources rejected the statement of Indian minister who on Sunday gave a “piece of advice” to Imran Khan saying that India is ready to assist Pakistan if the neighbouring country is serious enough to combat terror on its soil.

“The Indian minister who has also become a laughing stock across the world for his insane acts, has made a ridiculous statement and it is discarded with contempt that it deserves.” Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon dared the country's opposition to restore Article 370 in IOK.

“Can these leaders, who’re trying to fool the people with their crocodile tears, bring back Article 370 in Kashmir? Will the people of India allow them to? Will the people of India accept it? I challenge opposition to declare in their manifesto they will bring back Article 370,” Modi was quoted as saying by international media.

He accused the Congress of politicising the government’s decision on IOK to "reap benefits" in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. “Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) think completely opposite to what the country thinks. They speak the language of a neighbouring country and hesitate to stand by the country,” Modi alleged, without naming the neighbouring country.

Saying that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were not "just a piece of land or territory" for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he called the two "the crown of India". "Looking at the security needs, we took the necessary steps."

He also claimed that India has "tried its best to ensure normalcy in the area, amidst all the negative powers in and around the area”. Reports emerging from the IOK, however, tell a different reality. Millions have been left isolated from the world since the lockdown was enforced, with concerns raised about lack of medical supplies in the area. The crisis has upended the education of millions of children in the disputed Himalayan region, and many have been caught up in street violence.

Reports from the region also suggest that children — some as young as 14 — have been injured in actions by the Indian troops. "We are working to bring the situation to normal. We won’t take four months to normalise the situation that had been so bad for 40 years,” Modi was quoted as saying.

Facing international pressure to ease people’s suffering and restore normal life, Indian authorities announced this past week that they would allow tourists back into the region after ordering them to leave in August because of security concerns. But tourists are unlikely to experience 'normal life' in the disputed area or be able to use mobile internet or cellphones, which remain cut.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused Modi, home minister Amit Shah and the media of distracting people's attention from core issues. Addressing an election rally at Ausa in Maharashtra’s Latur district for the upcoming state polls, Gandhi said when the youth ask for jobs, the government tells them to watch the moon. He also sought to know if Modi, during his recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, asked the latter about the 2017 Doklam standoff. Gandhi also alleged that Rs5.5 lakh crore debt of "15 rich people" was waived off by the Modi government. "The work of media, Modi and Shah is to distract people's attention from core issues. The media is silent on farmers' distress, lack of jobs. The media is mum on loan waiver to rich as it is owned by them," he alleged.

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