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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says no other issue remains for dialogue

Unyielding stand: Rajnath Singh flagging off a rally from Kalka to Rohtak in Haryana on Sunday.PTIPTI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said any future talks with Pakistan would focus only on the status of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Mr. Singh, who was addressing the BJP’s ‘Jan Aashirwad Yatra’ in Haryana’s Kalka, said Pakistan wanted to destabilise India through terrorism, and there would be no talks with the country unless it acted against terrorists and stopped supporting terror activities.

“...People from Pakistan say there should be talks between India and Pakistan. About what should we talk? What’s the issue on which there should be talks? Why should there be talks? If there are to be any talks with Pakistan, they will happen only when Pakistan stops supporting terror from its soil. Until then, there’s no reason for any talks,” he said.

“Also, in future, if talks are held with Pakistan, they will be on the issue of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and no other issue,” Mr. Singh said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently acknowledged the killing of terrorists in the IAF’s Balakot air strike after denying it earlier, Mr. Singh said. “Pakistan’s Prime Minister a few days ago said in PoK that India is planning an air strike even bigger than the Balakot one. This means that Pakistan’s Prime Minister has accepted the fact India conducted an air strike in Balakot and a large number of terrorists were killed in it,” he said.

Internet, mobile access suspended in Jammu

Stones thrown by protesters lying scattered on a road at Habba Kadal. Getty ImagesGetty Images

Authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of on Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and the police left dozens injured, two senior officials and eyewitnesses said.

The decision to allow Internet and mobile phone use in parts of the Jammu region was also reversed, said one official, amid concerns about the spread of rumours. In the past 24 hours, there has been a series of protests against the abrogation of Article 370 following the easing of restrictions on movement and phone use on Saturday morning.

The State government said it has not imposed a curfew in the past two weeks, but on Sunday people were being turned back at multiple roadblocks in the city.

They understand each other well, says PM Modi

PM Modi with King Jigme Khesar Wangchuck, left, and former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck on Sunday. ANI ANI

No two countries in the world understand each other so well or share so much as India and Bhutan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, as he emphasised that New Delhi and are such “natural partners” in bringing prosperity to their peoples.

Addressing students of the prestigious Royal University of Bhutan here, Mr. Modi said it is natural that the people of Bhutan and India experience great attachment to each other.

“India is fortunate to be the land where Prince Siddhartha became Gautam Buddha. And from where the light of his spiritual message, the light of Buddhism, spread all over the world. Generations of monks, spiritual leaders, scholars and seekers have burnt that flame bright in Bhutan,” the Prime Minister said in the Buddhist majority country.

Many women and children were among victims, 180 injured

Grief-stricken: Men mourning at the funeral of their relatives killed in the blast in Kabul on Sunday.REUTERSREUTERS

The Islamic State (IS) on Sunday claimed responsibility for the suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people late on Saturday.

The late night attack came as the Taliban and the U.S. negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government. IS fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014, are not involved in the talks. The group has attacked Afghan government and U.S.-led international forces as well as the Taliban.

In a statement on the messaging website Telegram, the IS claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall, in a minority Shia neighbourhood, saying its bomber had infiltrated the reception and detonated his explosives in the crowd of “infidels”.

The Taliban had earlier denied responsibility for the attack and condemned it.

More than 180 people were wounded, with many women and children among the casualties, Interior Ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said on Sunday, as families thronged to Kabul’s crowded cemeteries.

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