PoK a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan: Army chief
Speaking at the Field Marshal KM Cariappa Memorial Lecture, Rawat said that Pakistan had been raising the issue of the abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to J&K, but hadn’t objected to it when the same was introduced with a clear provision that it was a temporary measure.Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 04:15 IST
Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was a terrorist-country illegally occupied by India’s western neighbour.
Speaking at the Field Marshal KM Cariappa Memorial Lecture, Rawat said that Pakistan had been raising the issue of the abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to J&K, but hadn’t objected to it when the same was introduced with a clear provision that it was a temporary measure.
“It is because this territory has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. PoK is actually a terrorist-controlled country or a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan,” he said.
“When we say J&K, it includes PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Therefore, PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan become an occupied territory, a territory which has been illegally occupied by our western neighbour,” Rawat said on Friday.
Rawat’s comments come at a time when intelligence reports have warned against the presence of over 500 terrorists at launch pads and terror camps in PoK, facing Kupwara, Baramulla, Poonch and Rajouri sectors.
In an interview to Hindustan Times on October 13, Northern Army commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh had said that anger over the government’s Article 370 move and Jammu and Kashmir’s bifurcation was subsiding in the Valley but Pakistan was trying its best to reinvigorate the terror machinery in order to destabilise the region.
A week later, on October 20, Rawat said Indian forces targeted three terror camps in PoK and killed six to 10 Pakistani soldiers after infiltration attempts in the Tangdhar sector.
Former Northern Army commander Lieutenant General BS Jaswal (retd) said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was an illegally-occupied territory being used by Pakistan as a launch pad for terrorist activities in India with special focus on J&K.
Last month, Rawat had said Indian forces were ready for action in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but it was for the government to take a decision.
In August, defence minister Rajnath Singh had said if talks are held between New Delhi and Islamabad it would only be on PoK.
The Indian Parliament withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir by reading down Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.
Ever since, Pakistan has upped the ante over the move, albeit unsuccessfully, in various international fora, accusing India of committing human rights violations in the Valley by imposing a communication blockade.