’Pakistan not wearing bangles’: Farooq Abdullah’s reminder as Rajnath Singh says ’PoK will be merged with India’

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India will not have to use force to take Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir as people would say that we must be merged with India.

Written By Akriti Anand
First Published5 May 2024
Farooq Abdullah, JKNC chief and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Farooq Abdullah, JKNC chief and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.(HT_PRINT)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that he feels there is no need to capture Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) by force. He said its people would want to be part of India after seeing the development in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an interview with news agency PTI, Singh said, "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."

"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," the defence minister said, asserting that "PoK was, is, and will remain ours".

'Pakistan not wearing bangles': Farooq Abdullah

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) chief Farooq Abdullah reacted to Rajnath Singh's comments, saying, "If the defence minister is saying it then go ahead. Who are we to stop."

"But remember, they (Pakistan) are also not wearing bangles. It has atom bombs, and unfortunately, that atom bomb will fall on us," Farooq Abdullah said in a press conference on Sunday.

India's plans for PoK

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Sunday that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is part of India and added that there is a resolution of the Indian Parliament which states that PoK is part of the country. He noted that people were made to forget about PoK, however, it is now back in the consciousness of the people of India.

Asked about India's plans for PoK during an interactive session in Cuttack, Jaishankar was quoted by PTI as saying, “PoK has never been out of this country. It is part of this country. There is a resolution of the Indian Parliament that PoK is very much a part of India.” 

"Now, how did PoK, how did other people get control? You know, when you have someone who is not a responsible custodian of a house, someone steals from outside. Now, here you have allowed another country," Jaishankar added.

He said, "...I always tell people one thing today PoK is in the consciousness once again of the people of India. We had forgotten about it. We were made to forget about it. That it is today back definitely, the fact you are asking me a question is, I think, something which is very good."

In 2023, Rajnath Singh had said that Pakistan has no legal standing or authority in PoK as it has illegally occupied the area. “Pakistan does not have a locus standi there as it has illegally occupied the area. The Indian Parliament has unanimously passed at least three resolutions, which state that PoK is a part of India," he had said.

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