Govt ensuring that J&K touches new heights of progress
Announces Joint Theatre Commands for tri-services
Separatism, terrorism weakened but not ended: Hosabale
JAMMU, July 24: In a significant statement on Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today declared that PoJK is an integral part of India saying “how is it possible that Baba Amarnath Ji is in India and Maa Sharda Shakti is across the Line of Control (LoC)”.
Click here to watch video
In a dig at China, he said India is one of the most powerful countries in the world as compared to 1962 when China captured our territory in Ladakh when late Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was at the helm of affairs.
He also announced the setting up of Joint Theatre Commands of the tri-services to enhance coordination among the Armed Forces.
Speaking at a function organized by Jammu and Kashmir People’s Forum (JKPF) coinciding with Kargil Vijay Diwas to honour kin of martyrs of all security forces since 1947 at Gulshan Ground here, the Defence Minister recalled supreme sacrifices of the Indian Army and asserted that PoJK is an integral part of India.
“A resolution has been passed in the Parliament on PoJK. PoJK was, is and will remain a part of India. How can it be that Baba Amarnath in the form of Shiva is with us and Mother Sharda Shakti is on the other side of LoC,” Rajnath said while referring to the Sharda Peeth shrine, which has the ruins of a temple to Hindu Goddess Saraswati, also known as Sharda.
Rajnath said India is well-equipped to give a befitting reply to “anyone who casts an evil eye on us” and expressed confidence that the country will emerge victorious in case of any war.
“God should give better sense to Pakistan. I can’t say beyond that,” he said.
“I want to tell you with confidence that if any foreign powers casts an evil eye on us and if there is a war, we will become victorious,” he added.
He said that India defeated Pakistan in all the wars since 1947 and after bitter defeat, they engineered proxy wars.
“After tasting defeats in direct wars of 1965 and 1971, Pakistan adopted the path of proxy war. For over two decades, it has tried to ‘bleed India with a thousand cuts’. But, time and again, our brave soldiers have shown that no one can disturb the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India,” the Defence Minister said, assuring the nation that the armed forces are ready to face all future challenges.
Singh remembered then Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee for his leadership and words of encouragement to the Armed Forces personnel during the Kargil war despite numerous challenges and international pressure.
He termed the victory as a prime example of jointness among the three Services and their coordination with the Government which safeguarded the sovereignty and integrity of the nation during testing times.
He stated the Government is ensuring that Jammu and Kashmir, like the rest of the country, touches newer heights of progress. Terming Article 370 as an artificial legal barrier, he asserted that its abrogation brought a new dawn of hope to the dreams and aspirations of the people of J-K, especially the youth. The decision opened new avenues for the welfare of the people and the Union Territory is now progressing at a much faster rate, he added.
Strong and confident new India is well-equipped to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye, he said.
He asserted that the sole aim of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government is to safeguard the interests of the nation and it has taken a series of steps to develop a self-reliant defence ecosystem that provides indigenous state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to the armed forces to fight all kinds of future wars.
Sharing his views on the numerous challenges faced by India post-Independence, Singh said the entire area of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh became the “main war theatre” during 1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars, when enemies tried to cast an evil eye, but their plans were thwarted by the gallant Indian soldiers.
The Defence Minister also spoke about the brave deeds of Brigadier Usman and Major Somnath Sharma in 1948; Major Shaitan Singh’s valour in 1962; India’s historic victory in 1971 war and the contribution of Kargil bravehearts Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Manoj Pandey who laid down their lives to protect the unity and integrity of India and “continue to be an inspiration to the people, especially the youth”.
He also paid respects to the Indian soldiers who displayed unmatched bravery during the Galwan valley incident and ensured that the Indian tricolour continues to fly high.
He also made special mention of the support extended by the people of J&K to the armed forces, commending their commitment to safeguard the interests of the nation like all other states.
“India has become a strong and confident nation which is well-equipped to protect its people from anyone who tries to cast an evil eye on us,” he added.
Singh said that during the wars with Pakistan and China, people of Jammu and Kashmir stood by their forces.
“Whether one is Hindu or Muslim, all stood by their forces. We cannot forget,” he said.
Rajnath said that today’s India is one of the most powerful countries in the world as compared to 1962 when China captured our area in Ladakh when late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was at the helm of the affairs.
“In 1962 China captured our area in Ladakh, with Pandit Nehru as our Prime Minister. I will not question his intentions. Intentions can be good but the same does not apply to policies. However, today’s India is one of the most powerful countries in the world,” Rajnath said.
“Will remember those who laid their lives in service of the country. Our Army has always made this supreme sacrifice for the country. Several of our brave soldiers laid their lives in the 1999 war, I bow down to them,” Singh added.
The Defence Minister announced the setting up of Joint Theatre Commands of the tri-services to enhance coordination among the armed forces.
He also said India is moving quickly from being the world’s largest importer of defence equipment to an exporter.
“Keeping in view (joint operations as seen in Operation Vijay in Kargil), we have decided to set up Joint Theatre Commands (in the country),” Singh said.
Paying tributes to the Kargil martyrs, the Defence Minister said the country cannot forget their supreme sacrifice to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“It is the duty of the society and the people to give their utmost respect to the martyrs and their families,” he said.
“Whatever support you can offer, it to for their families. It is the responsibility of each citizen,” he added.
Referring to the defence production, Singh said, “India was the world’s largest importer of defence products. Today, India is not the world’s largest importer but is among the top 25 nations engaged in defence exports”.
Singh said the country has started defence exports worth Rs 13,000 crore and it has fixed a target to increase it to Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 crore by 2025-26.
Sarkaryavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Dattatreya Hosabale, in his address, described the function organized in honour of the martyrs and their families as a golden day and said that it is a matter of privilege for them to participate in it.
Referring to the Union Territory, Dattatreya Hosabale said that Jammu and Kashmir has been a victim of misogyny of Pakistan since the time of the country’s independence. From the very beginning, Pakistan has encouraged aggression, sometimes terrorism and sometimes separatism in Jammu and Kashmir. He congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir on behalf of all the countrymen of India for cooperating with the army, security forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police in thwarting the conspiracies of Pakistani and anti-national forces. He said that while Pakistan was engaged in instigating separatism and terrorism, the love of the local people for the nation and the determination to go to any extent for the security of the nation consistently defeated this separatism and terrorism.
He said that the first example of this determination is the last Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh himself, who was a great ruler and a visionary figure. In 1947, on the one hand, Pakistan was sitting with eyes on Jammu and Kashmir, and on the other hand it was also the conspiracy of the British that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir should be done with Pakistan and not with India, but the Maharaja defeated the conspiracies of both Pakistan and the British, and signed the instrument of accession with India. Because of that great decision, we the people of Jammu and Kashmir can proudly say that we are citizens of India.
Hosabale further said that after the Jammu Kashmir’s accession with India, due to the short-sightedness of the then Central leadership and the conspiracies of the then political rulers of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Constitution was not fully implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Efforts were being made to create obstacles. At such a time, the first movement of independent India, the Praja Parishad movement, was started in the erstwhile State. We cannot forget the incomparable contribution of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Prem Nath Dogra, who played an important role in making this movement successful in J&K and then in the whole country,” he said.
Holding the tricolor in one hand, the constitution in the other and carrying the photograph of the then President Dr Rajendra Prasad around the neck, thousands of people came out on the streets, their slogan was only one, “Ek Desh Mein Do Nishan, Do Vidhan and Do Pradhan Nahi Chalegi”, Hosabale said
Hosabale also referred to the Pakistani invasion of PoJK in 1947 and the situation after that. He said at that time Hindus and Sikhs were massacred from places like Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Bhimber, Kotli and many atrocities were committed on women. The brave soldiers of Indian Army liberated the areas of Rajouri, Poonch and Baramulla from the illegal occupation of Pakistan, he added.
Hosabale said that the people living in PoJK are still suffering as they are still not free and are looking towards India.
Recalling the Kotli incident, he said that in 1947-48, even when the Indian Army was fighting in the battlefield, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were contributing shoulder to shoulder with the Army.
“In Kotli, the Indian Army air-dropped boxes full of ammunition at that time, but they fell in the wrong place. Who can forget Kotli’s sacrificers Dharamveer Khanna, Ved Prakash Chadha, Pritam Singh and Sukha Singh, who decided to go and bring ammunition on their own in the midst of bullets. They were also successful but were injured in the shelling and later got martyrdom. Amrit Sagar of Poonch mobilized the local people and inspired them to help the Indian Army. The people of the new generation should remember these things,” the senior RSS leader said.
Describing the contribution of patriot Maqbool Sherwani in Kashmir, he said that how Sherwani, without caring for his life, had misled the Pakistani army. Due to this, the Pakistani army got delayed in reaching Srinagar. By the time the Pakistani army reached Budgam, the Indian Army had taken over.
In this context, Hosabale, while mentioning a village named Chhura of Kashmir, said that Sikhs had gathered there after leaving their villages due to the Pakistani invasion.
“When Pakistani army reached there, in such a critical time, under the leadership of Bibi Naseeb Kaur, a local Kashmiri Sikh woman, Sikh women fought a war against the Pakistani army in the guise of men, where 402 Sikh women, children and men sacrificed their lives in front of Pakistani army,” he recalled.
He said that today a huge area of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is under illegal occupation of Pakistan.
“Lakhs of people displaced from there are today living in Jammu and Kashmir and rest of India. There will hardly be any family of displaced who has not lost any relative from their family. Even after facing such a terrible tragedy, this society did not lose its patience. Even after being displaced, their contribution to Jammu and Kashmir is commendable. The people of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir were the first victims of independent India’s Jammu and Kashmir and they should get justice,” Hosabale said.
He said that in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Indian Army had forced 93000 Pakistani soldiers to kneel while showing bravery, valour and patriotism.
“Despite this, Pakistan once again invaded the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir in 1999. But the Pakistanis could not stand before the bravery and might of the Indian Army. We should always remember the contribution of Major Saurabh Kalia, Captain Vikram Batra, Lieutenant Balwan Singh, Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, Major Rajesh Adhikari, Major Vivek Gota, Naik Digendra Kumar and Rifle Man Sanjay Kumar,” the RSS general secretary said.
He said that separatism and terrorism have weakened but not ended, as desperate terrorists are changing their styles.
“In such a situation, the security forces are constantly performing their responsibility by being alert, but our society is also aware of the present challenges. Article 370 and 35-A have been removed. Dalits, women, STs, West Pakistan refugees and Gorkhas living in Jammu and Kashmir were all against these. Also the people of the erstwhile State fought a long struggle and in the end won. Today STs have got political reservation, women have got equal rights, Dalits now have all those rights which they get everywhere in the country. Work is being done to identify OBCs. DDC elections have been held, in which ST and women got right participation,” Hosabale said.
Among others present in the function were Param Vir Chakra winner Captain Bana Singh, retired Justice Pramod Kohli, former DGP Dr SP Vaid, retired Lt. General VK Chaturvedi, Lt. General (retired) Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Lt. General (retired) SK Gosain, Lt. General (retired) LR Sadotra, Major General (retired) SK Sharma, former IPS officer Sachchidanand Srivastava, former DRDO DG Dr. Sudarshan Sharma, Prant Sanghchalak Dr. Gautam Mangi, Prof. Shivdutt Nirmohi, Pandit Vishwamurti Shastri, former CMD JK Bank and Director RK Chhibber, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Jammu, Dr. Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST Jammu, Prof JP Sharma, Retd IFS CM Seth, Retd IAS Nirmal Sharma, Retd Brigadier BS Sambyal, Retd Brigadier Deepak Badyal and President of J&K People’s Forum Ramesh Sabharwal.
More than 1500 kin of martyrs since 1947 from Army, Central Armed Police Force (CAPFs) and Jammu and Kashmir Police were honoured on the occasion.