Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday accused Pakistan of attempting a "pre-planned murder" of former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and asserted India will do "whatever it takes" to ensure his release.
"Pakistan is attempting a pre-planned murder of Kulbhushan Jadhav," he said, striking an aggressive posture against Islamabad over the death penalty awarded to the Indian national by a military court in the neighbouring country.
Singh attended the 'Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards' function in Mumbai Tuesday night wherein he shared his opinion on a range of issues.
At the event, Rajnath trashed Islamabad's claim that the 46-year-old was involved in "espionage and sabotage activities".
Rajnath Singh Jadhav is not a spy and should be released. He went out of India for business. Pakistan agencies kidnapped him. He was carrying an Indian passport. Do spies carry passports?
Singh maintained India won't hesitate to take "strong steps" to secure Jadhav's release. However, he did not disclose what "strong steps" New Delhi was contemplating.
Jadhav, who hails from Maharashtra, was "arrested" on 3 March last year by Pakistan security officials allegedly in Balochistan which, they said, he entered from Iran.
He was sentenced to death by a military court in a secret trial and the Pakistan's army chief on Monday approved his execution.
“No Matter How The Change Takes Place, Kashmir Will Be Transformed in a Year”
On the topic of Kashmir, Singh said that the Valley will be “transformed” in a year, "no matter how the change takes place".
Rajnath SinghYou will see a transformed Kashmir in a year. No matter how the change occurs, one thing is certain, that there will be a change in Kashmir in a year’s time.
Speaking during an interactive session at the event, he said former Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah should not have supported the stone pelters.
Jammu and Kashmir is currently ruled by the BJP-PDP alliance government headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Abdullah had recently defended the stone-pelting youth in the Valley, saying they are fighting for the nation and for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of its people.
Singh said he "fully agrees" with Army chief General Bipin Rawat's remarks about dealing sternly with those trying to hinder security forces from performing their duties in Kashmir.
Rajnath SinghThose doing such things will have to face the consequences.
“We Didn’t Expect 325 Seats in UP”
Singh said that he credits Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, workers of the BJP and the NDA for the victory in the Assembly elections in the northern state.
Rajnath Singh I thought we would get around 250 seats. We didn’t expect we will get 325 seats in UP.
On Triple Talaq
The Home Minister said that the government's stance on the issue of triple talaq is clear. "Such a provision isn't there even in Quran," he added.
On Ram Mandir
On construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Home minister said that the issue is sub judice.
Rajnath Singh If both the sides reach a solution, it will be alright but if not, then all will have to abide by court verdict.
On Cow Slaughter
Singh observed that there is a need for a consensus on anti-cow slaughter legislation.
On Dawood Ibrahim
On fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the senior BJP leader said:
There is no doubt that he is still in Karachi. In the last 10 years, India has sent a lot of dossiers on him (Dawood) to Pakistan. He is an accused in 31 cases, including the Mumbai serial blasts.
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