Sun, Oct 23, 2016 | updated 01:06 AM IST

It's India's responsibility to get PoJK, Gilgit-Baltistan freed from Pak's illegal occupation: Jitendra Singh

Updated: Aug 27, 2016 17:30 IST
Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): Asserting that Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) is as much part of Jammu and Kashmir as are Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan, Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh on Saturday said it is India's responsibility to get PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan freed from illegal occupation of Pakistan and restore its lost glory.

"PoJK is as much party of Jammu and Kashmir as are Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and also Gilgit-Baltistan. However, the fact is, which doesn't come to mind of many people that the entire area of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir was 2.25 lakh sq km, of which only 1 lakh sq km is the part of India. Therefore, it is our responsibility to get PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan freed from illegal occupation of Pakistan and restore the lost glory of Jammu and Kashmir," Singh told ANI.

Slamming Pakistan for perpetrating violence in Jammu and Kashmir by exporting home-grown terrorists, Singh said, "Pakistan has been unmasked before the world. The entire world knows that all conspiracies are being hatched in Islamabad. Pakistan is encouraging terrorism on its soil and exporting terrorists to India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and some misguided elements are becoming its part."

Sensitising the youth of of Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said, "On the one hand, our responsibility is to defeat Pakistan's design, while on the other hand, we have to sensitise our youth. That if the so-called jihad is so pious, then people who are inciting the youth in the name of jihad and 'jannat' (heaven) why don't they give this pious opportunity to their children. They have already sent their children to Bengaluru, Pune and abroad."

Earlier in the day, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7 RCR residence, Mufti asserted that he was extremely concerned about the situation and that he had expressed his desire to stop the bloodshed in the Valley and also ensured that the state will emerge from the crisis.

"The Prime Minister is quite concerned just the way we are regarding the situation in Kashmir. He re-iterated that the basis of the PDP-BJP alliance is to continue the trend of reconciliation with Pakistan that Vajpayee ji had started and use it to solve the problem in Kashmir," she said.

Lauding Prime Minister Modi's approach towards Pakistan, Mufti stated that he had not only invited Nawaz Sharif for his oath taking ceremony but went to Lahore himself, but the Pathankot incident happened and ties between the two nations went downhill.

"With the situation in Kashmir taking a turn for the worse in the last few days, Pakistan instead of helping us is trying to worsen the situation. They had a golden opportunity to talk about Kashmir when Rajnath ji went to Islamabad recently, but instead he was meted with mistreatment," she said.

Calling out Pakistan, she added that if they have any sympathy for the people of Kashmir, then they will stop provoking the youth into attacking security forces by saying that it will solve the unrest in the Valley.

Defending the curfew which has now entered its 50th day, the Chief Minister said that the purpose of imposing restrictions was to save the lives of the locals and the children.

She further asserted that the Separatists must come forwards and help the state government in figuring out a solution to the Kashmir unrest.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Valley continued to be grim as a police constable was shot dead by terrorists in Pulwama District today.

The death toll in the valley reached 67 on Friday, as another youth succumbed to his injuries in clashes that broke out between security forces and the locals in Pulwama district.(ANI)