ISLAMABAD     -    Pakistan yesterday condemned Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s provocative statements.

A foreign ministry statement said: “We condemn recent statements made by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during election rallies in Haryana.

These provocative statements from a senior Minister in the Indian government provide another insight into the BJP mindset – a mix of extremist ideology, hegemonic ambitions, and obsession with Pakistan.”

It added: “It is highly irresponsible of the Indian Defence Minister to be threatening the splitting of a sovereign country. We are sure that the world community would take cognizance.

For his part, Mr Rajnath Singh should have no doubt that the security forces and people of Pakistan remain ready to resolutely defend the country against any evil design.”

The statement said: “We also reject his gratuitous comments on help in counter-terrorism. India would help itself by ceasing forthwith the state-terrorism it has been perpetrating for decades against the Kashmiri people in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India must also cease its sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan.”

It is a well-established pattern that whenever there are elections in India, the BJP leadership whips up anti-Pakistan sentiment to rally support for its candidates, the statement added.

“As we have stressed before, the BJP should contest elections on the basis of its own performance, rather than dragging Pakistan into the domestic political foray for electoral gains,” it added.