’No need to capture PoK; its people will themselves want to join India’: Rajnath Singh

  • Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India would not use force to take PoK as people would say that we must be merged with India.

Livemint
Updated5 May 2024, 10:37 AM IST
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during an interview with PTI
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during an interview with PTI(PTI)

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in an interview with PTI said that India would never give up on Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) but won't capture it with coercion. Singh claimed that PoK's citizens will themselves join India after seeing the development of Kashmir.

"I think India will not have to do anything. The way the ground situation has changed in Jammu and Kashmir, the way the region is witnessing economic progress, and the way peace has returned there, I think demands will emerge from people of PoK that they should merge with India," he said.

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"We will not have to use force to take PoK as people would say that we must be merged with India. Such demands are now coming," he said. The defence minister asserted that "PoK was, is, and will remain ours".

The Defence Minister reiterated the improved situation in Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Rajnath Singh added that soon AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) will also not be required in the Union Territory.

"The way the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir, I think a time will come when AFSPA will no longer be required there. It is my view and it is for the Home Ministry to decide on it," he said.

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The defence minister, referring to Pakistan's proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir, said Islamabad must stop cross-border terrorism. "They are trying to destabilise India and we will not allow it to happen," he said.

On eastern Ladakh border row, Singh said, “Talks with China going on; country's borders will remain safe”. “India has been developing infrastructure along border areas at a rapid speed,” he added.

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Further attacking the Congress party, Singh said, "Rahul Gandhi has no fire but Congress is playing with fire by attempting Hindu-Muslim divide".

The defence minister also said that he was confident that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will cross 400 seats and the BJP will get over 370 as these projections were made after detailed assessment of the ground situation. 

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First Published:5 May 2024, 10:37 AM IST
HomeNewsIndia’No need to capture PoK; its people will themselves want to join India’: Rajnath Singh

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