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India’s goal is to take back PoK turf: Rajnath Singh | India News – Times of India

SRINAGAR: India’s goal is to reclaim areas such as Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in accordance with a resolution passed unanimously in Parliament in 1994, defence minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday, reasserting a long-held pitch that these places are “under illegal occupation of Pakistan”. He also called out Islamabad for atrocities committed in the occupied territories.
“We have just begun our journey of development in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. We will achieve our goal when we reach Gilgit and Baltistan,” Singh said while speaking at the Shaurya Diwas or Infantry Day celebrations to commemorate the air-landing of Indian soldiers at Budgam airstrip in Srinagar on October 27, 1947.
It was the first military operation of independent India, a move that changed the course of the India-Pakistan war in 1947-48 in which Indian troops repelled invading armed tribesmen and military conscripts from taking over Kashmir Valley.
Accusing Pakistan of torturing and harassing the people of PoK, he said Islamabad “is sowing the seeds of hatred…and time is not far when people will resort to mass rebellion there”.
He said India is committed to implement the resolution passed in Parliament on February 22, 1994, about recovering Gilgit, Baltistan and other parts of Kashmir taken illegally by Pakistan. “People of PoK are being deprived of all basic rights and we are fully aware of it,” he said.
He asked Pakistan to stop shedding crocodile’s tears in the name of human rights, saying its double-talk is well-known because it talks about crushing terrorism and also backs terrorists in J&K. “The pain of the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir also troubles us and not just them. The tandav of terrorism that J&K has seen in the name of Kashmiriyat cannot be described.”
He said the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019, ended the discrimination against the people in J&K and the region has since marched towards success, peace and prosperity. “The discrimination was ended under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s yajna of J&K’s full integration was achieved on August 5.”
Saying “this was just a beginning”, the defence minister said the dreams of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Acharya Shankar will be fulfilled when all refugees of 1947 get their land and homes back. “And I assure you that day will come,” Singh said.
Singh said Indian infantry has been associated with utmost courage and professionalism and the nation salutes their bravery, sacrifice and service. In 1947, the Army gave a befitting reply to enemies trying to occupy Kashmir illegally, he said. “I pray tribute to the Infantry regiments who offered supreme sacrifices by pushing the invaders back.”
This year’s Shaurya Diwas marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of 1 Sikh Regiment at the old airfield of Srinagar in 1947 to protect Kashmir from Pakistani invaders.
After the event, defence minister Singh reviewed the security situation along the LoC and will leave for Leh on a two-day visit to Ladakh.
(with agency inputs)

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