Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is on a roll as far as Pakistan is concerned. Showing the terror sponsored nation its true place, he said in a public address in Panchkula, “If talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK)”.
After flagging off of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in Haryana’s Panchkula, Singh said, “A few days ago, the prime minister of Pakistan said India was planning an attack bigger than Balakot. This means that he acknowledges what India did in Balakot.” This was in reference to the air strikes conducted by the IAF on the JeM terror camps in across the LoC. The air strikes were conducted after the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama in which 44 CRPF personnel were killed. JeM had taken responsibility for the attack. Pakistan had repeatedly denied that IAF caused any damage in Balakot.
The minister added, “Article 370 was abrogated in J&K for its development. 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. Also, if talks are held, it will now be on PoK.”
Thus, Rajnath Singh made it clear that abrogation of Article 370 was an internal matter for which Pakistan need not be concerned. The only issue that needs to be dealt with, with Pakistan is the issue of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), a region which Pakistan has illegally occupied.
Ever since Article 370 of the constitution, which gave special status to the earlier state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated, Pakistan has been criticisng the move and even approached the United Nations Security Council, which upheld the stand that the issue must be resolved bilaterally. Moreover, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India, expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, suspended trade ties and also stopped services of the Samjhauta Express.
This latest statement comes in furtherance to Rajnath Singh’s continuing policy on dealing with Pakistan. Earlier, in a tweet he stated that while so far India has been committed to ‘No First Use’ in terms of nuclear weapons, depending on the circumstances this might change in future. This message marked a paradigm shift in terms India’s nuclear doctrine.
Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”
Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 16, 2019
From a strict ‘No First Use’, India has been moving towards sort of nuclear ambiguity (in terms of doctrine) ever since Modi government came to power. With Rajnath’s tweet on the matter, it seems the transition is complete and now India’s nuclear doctrine will be guided in practical terms, on threat perception and strategic concerns. The tweet is also a message to Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail, which it resorts to, time and again.