‘India will have whole of Kashmir someday,’ says top IAF official
A high-ranking Indian Air Force official on Wednesday expressed hope that India will be able to govern the entire Kashmir, including the Pakistan-occupied territory. Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of Western Air Command, Air Marshal Amit Dev said there was no plan to capture Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Dev was speaking to the media at the 75th anniversary of Indian troops' Budgam landing.
He also pointed out that people in PoK were not treated fairly by Pakistan.
“All the activities which were carried out by the Indian Air Force and the Army (on October 27, 1947) resulted in ensuring the freedom of this part of Kashmir. I am sure that someday, the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will also join this part of Kashmir and we will have the whole of Kashmir in years to come,” Dev said.
“Entire Kashmir is one, the nation is one. People on both sides have common attachments. Today or tomorrow, history will witness that nations come together. We do not have a plan at the moment, but, God willing, it will always be there because people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are not being treated very fairly by the Pakistanis,” Dev further added.
Following the signing of the instrument of accession with India by then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh, Indian troops landed in the Valley on October 27, 1947 the very next day after Pakistani tribals carried out raids.
The AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command also highlighted that the IAF faces many challenges, but the basic challenge it faces is technology.
“The rate of change of technology is so fast in the world today that we have to keep pace with that. If any nation which is to grow economically has to have a strong military, we must fulfil our obligation to the nation in the years to come and we are always ready for the challenge,” he said.
He, however, said that the IAF has become a very capable force.
“After the instrument of accession was signed, we moved in our troops quickly and Srinagar airfield was saved and thereafter we launched further offensive and pushed the Pakistani military, which came as Kabalis (tribals), further back,” Dev said.
Dev claimed that if the United Nations did not intervene the entire Kashmir would have been India’s.
He said the IAF and the Army carried out many small missions including the operations in Poonch after an airstrip was laid there in a short span of a week, attacks on the Srinagar airfield, in Skardu on ammunition dump and in Leh.