‘Abrogation of 370 was long pending promise of BJP’
Pak encouraging, promoting terrorism
JAMMU, Aug 29: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today that Pakistan has no locus standi on Kashmir and entire International community was on board with India on the decisions taken by the Central Government (scrapping of special provisions and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh) even as he charged Pakistan with running, promoting and encouraging terrorism and attempting to destabilize India.
Addressing farmers, security personnel and scientists after inaugurating 26th ‘Ladakhi Kissan Jawan Vigyan Mela’ organized by the Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research (DIHAR) at Leh this morning, Rajnath during his first visit to strategically important Ladakh region after it was granted the Union Territory status, asked: “When Kashmir was part of Pakistan that it was raising such a hue and cry over the Indian decisions”?
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He went on to say that it was Pakistan which was part of India before 1947 and added that India accepts the existence of the neighbouring country but said Pakistan’s unwanted concern over Kashmir was just like “Begaani Shaadi Mein Abdullah Deewana (crazy in stranger’s marriage)’.
“I want to ask Pakistan when Kashmir was with you that you keep crying about it. In fact, Pakistan was part of India. On what issue are you aggr-ieved? Why you are unnecessarily crying? Stop crying,” Rajnath said adding: “Truth is that Pakistan occupied Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan has been under Pakistan’s illegal occupation.
He also referred to a unanimous resolution by Parliament in 1994 which said entire PoK including Gilgit-Baltistan is part of India. He said Pakistan should stop crying unnecessarily over India’s decision to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir and instead focus on dismantling terror infrastructure operating from their soil. “When people are welcoming our decisions and are happy, why Pakistan is worried”? he asked.
“Pakistan is our neighbour. We want good relations with them. If there are some problems we will sit down and solve but the problem is that they are running, promoting and encouraging terrorism against India and trying to destabilise our country. How there can be talks in such a situation”? the Defence Minister asked.
Asserting that Pakistan has no locus standi in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajnath said it should stop making statements on the internal matters of India and focus on the atrocities it was committing on the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) including in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We respected your existence after Pakistan became a separate country. It does not mean you keep saying whatever you want to say and keep commenting on Kashmir in a planned way. No country in the world will allow it. Kashmir is part of India and nobody has any doubt about it,” he said.
Rajnath said there was no need (for Pakistan) to indulge in unnecessary melody on Kashmir, to show concern over Kashmir. “We respect people’s wish. People’s aspirations will prevail in any healthy democracy”.
Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir has been a long-standing promise of the BJP and the decision was not taken in a hurry, Rajnath said: “No country is with Pakistan on the current issue.”
“It (abrogation of Article 370) was not a sudden development. It was our commitment to the people of the country that when the BJP comes to power the Article will go. There has been no betrayal with the people. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and now there will be `Ek Pradhan, Ek Vidhaan and Ek Nishaan’ (One Head, One Constitution and One Flag) in the entire country, which was our stand,” he added.
Replying to a question at a very brief media-interaction as to why Ladakh as a Union Territory hasn’t been granted the Legislature like Jammu and Kashmir, the Defence Minister said Ladakh already has autonomous and elected Hill Development Council with people’s representatives, which was working very well.
He said the Union Territory status was long pending demand of the people of Ladakh region which has been conceded by the Narendra Modi Government. “The people here are jubilant on the Central Government decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. Every single person in Leh has welcomed the decision,” he added.
To another question, Rajnath said the defence modernization process is on.
He said United States Defence Secretary Mark Esper, during a telephonic conversation, told him that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 was an internal matter of India.
“When we made a law to make Ladakh a separate Union Territory then we not only respected the public sentiment here but also gave a solution to the problems of the people,” Singh said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear that localized solution will be brought in for India’s strategic areas.
Maintaining that Ladakh is strategically important region, Rajnath said local people as well as security jawans were doing its security. The region was granted divisional status during Modi 1.0 Government and getting an opportunity, it was given the Union Territory status by the Prime Minister.
Singh, who was in Leh to attend the ‘Kissan Jawan Vigyan Mela’, organized by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) DRDO, said the event is a big step towards strengthening the strategic ecosystem in Ladakh.
Earlier, Rajnath inaugurated ‘Kissan Jawan Vigyan Mela’ in the presence of Chief Executive Councillor , Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, Gyal Wangyal Jamyang Tsering Namgayal, MP, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO, Dr Satheesh Reddy and other senior civilian and Army officials in Leh.
Rajnath visited the experimental farm of DIHAR where technologies for production of quality organic fruits and vegetables are being demonstrated. He inspected the greenhouse technology, soil-less cultivation technology, potato storage technology and growing melons under cold climatic conditions.
He said the mela provides a platform for interaction between farmers, soldiers and scientists, perfectly imbibing the concept of ‘Jai Jawan-Jai Kissan-Jai Vigyan-Jai Anusandhan’.
Appreciating the important role played by DIHAR in connecting the soldiers and the society in Ladakh region, Rajnath said the mela is a big leap towards strengthening the strategic ecosystem of Ladakh.
He called upon the scientists at DIHAR to develop, within three years when it completes 60 years of its establishment, a model on ‘High Altitude Survival’ that can help the Armed Forces personnel to brave the harsh and inhospitable conditions and keep their morale high. The Indian Army has the capability to become the best ‘High Altitude Warfare’ force in the world, he added.
Rajnath appreciated the recent initiative of LAHDC to turn Leh into a certified organic district by 2025. He assured support from the Government in its organic mission.
DIHAR was established in 1962 to meet the fresh food requirement of the soldiers deployed in the harsh terrain of Ladakh. Through the technologies developed by the institute, the Army is getting locally grown fresh organic farm produce. As a spin-off of the technologies developed, farmers in Ladakh are able to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables resulting in improving their socio-economic condition.