Friday, May 17th, 2024

“PoK is completely a part of India…we were forgotten about it”: External Affairs Minister Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is part of India and there is a resolution of the Indian Parliament stating that PoK is part of the country.

He said that people had forgotten about PoK, however, it has now come back into the consciousness of the people of India.

Asked about India’s plans for PoK during an interactive session in Cuttack, Jaishankar replied, “PoK has never been outside this country. It is part of this country. Indian Parliament proposes that PoK is completely a part of India. Now how did someone else take over PoK? You know, when you have someone in your house who is not a responsible custodian of the house, someone steals from outside. Now, here you have given permission to another country.”

“You know, it was because we did not make efforts to vacate these areas in the early years of Pakistan’s independence that this very sad situation continues. So, what will happen in the future? It is very difficult to tell. But, I always tell people one thing that today PoK is again in the consciousness of the people of India. We had forgotten about it. We were forgotten about it. It definitely came back today, the fact that you’re asking me a question, I think, is something that’s great,” he said.

He also talked about the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and stressed that it should have been removed long ago. Jaishankar said that when Article 370 was in effect, the spirit of separatism and extremism was present in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing those criticizing the abrogation of Article 370, Jaishankar said it was a temporary provision in the Constitution and had to be removed. He said that Article 370 continued in Jammu and Kashmir because people had a vested interest in it.

Jaishankar said, “Our biggest problem was Article 370. This was a problem because as long as Article 370 was in place, a feeling of separatism, a feeling of extremism, sometimes I would even say support for violence, had arisen in Jammu and Kashmir.” This was happening in some parties, some parties at the Center and This was done due to the political interests of some parties in Jammu and Kashmir and this step which happened in 2019, should have been done long ago.

“Unfortunately, we did not have a Modi government until recently. And this was clearly an agenda that had to be done because it was a temporary provision of the Constitution. You know, people debate, saying, was it right? Was it wrong? It was written there in the Constitution, this is a temporary provision. What does temporary mean? That this ends. This had to happen. Unfortunately, it was continued because people had vested interests,” he said.

Earlier in April, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had said that in view of the development taking place in India, the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) themselves will demand to live with India.

“Don’t worry. PoK was ours, is ours and will remain ours,” Singh said on Sunday while addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Darjeeling, where the BJP had fielded sitting MP Raju Bista as its candidate.

“India’s power is growing… India’s prestige is growing around the world, and our economy is progressing rapidly. Now our brothers and sisters in PoK will themselves demand to come together with India.

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