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Won't hold talks with Pakistan on Kashmir, says Amit Shah days after Shehbaz Sharif's offer

His comment came just days after Pakistan subtly flaunted its nuclear power and warned of a nuclear flashpoint while expressing its willingness to talk to India on “serious matters”.
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 09 August 2023, 17:15 IST
Last Updated : 09 August 2023, 17:15 IST

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India will not hold dialogue with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir, nor will it enter into any negotiation with the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

His comment came just days after Pakistan subtly flaunted its nuclear power and warned of a nuclear flashpoint while expressing its willingness to talk to India on “serious matters”.

He, however, added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government would only hold talks with the youths of Kashmir.

Shah intervened during a debate on a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition parties against the Modi Government in the Lok Sabha.

“We will not hold talks with Pakistan, Hurriyat, Jamiat, but only with the youth of Kashmir,” the Union home minister said responding to National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah’s call for talks between India and Pakistan.

The NC leader had argued for peace between India and Pakistan. He said that if the two neighbouring nations buried the hatchets, both would march ahead on the path of prosperity. Amid protests from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Abdullah dared the Modi Government to go for war with Pakistan instead of doubting the intent of the people like him who had been standing by India in Jammu and Kashmir despite being targeted by the separatists.

Shah later referred to a recommendation by a non-governmental organisation for the government to hold talks with Hurriyat Conference, Jamiat and Pakistan to settle the issue of Kashmir. He dismissed the recommendation.

He said that the by abrogating the Article 370 of the Constitution of India, the Modi government had in August 2019 corrected a mistake committed by the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s dispensation and completely made J&K an integral part of the nation.

The Union Home Minister dismissed the possibility of talks between New Delhi and Islamabad just a few days after Pakistan’s Shehbaz Sharif, proposed talks with India.

“War is not an option,” Sharif said at an event in Islamabad on August 1.“Pakistan, thanks to God, is a nuclear power — not as an aggressor, but for our defence purposes,” Sharif was quoted saying in a report by Dawn, a newspaper published in the neighbouring country.

“And God forbid if there is a nuclear flashpoint, who will live to tell what happened?,” he said, adding: “So war is not an option.”

“We are prepared to talk to them, provided that the neighbour is serious to talk [on] serious matters,” Sharif said, albeit without directly referring to India.

Sharif’s term as prime minister of Pakistan came to an end on Wednesday.

He, however, added that Pakistan expects its neighbour (India) to understand that the two nations could not become “normal neighbours” unless abnormalities were removed and the serious issues were understood and addressed through peaceful and meaningful discussions.

New Delhi has been maintaining that Pakistan must behave like a “normal neighbour” and stop exporting terror from territories under its control if it wants its relations with India to be normal.

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Published 09 August 2023, 17:15 IST

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