Defence secy agrees with minister’s assertion, move seen as snub to Pakistan.
New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday in a telephonic conversation told his US counterpart Mark T. Esper that revoking Article 370 from the Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter of India aimed at improving growth and the economic development of the state.
Mr Esper agreed with India’s position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India, said defence ministry spokesperson here.
This is seen as a snub by the US to Pakistan’s campaign to escalate Kashmir on an international stage. US secretary of defence hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan will be resolved bilaterally.
Mr Singh also raised the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India and appreciated US support for India’s effort to maintain peace and stability in the region.
This conversation comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken with US President Donald Trump on phone and conveyed that “extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace”, in a reference to the Pakistani leadership spewing anti-India venom over the Kashmir issue.
Both the ministers expressed happiness at the significant progress in bilateral defence co-operation and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen the relations further. They exchanged views on a range of issues related to military-to-military co-operation, defence policy and defence trade. They expressed satisfaction on the first tri-service joint exercise planned for later this year and steps taken to operationalise agreements like Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).
Mr Singh invited the US companies to invest in the Indian defence manufacturing sector under the ‘Make in India’ programme.