April 2017 News
Won't Let Go Of PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Says Government5 April 2017
Times of India
New Delhi: India reiterated its claims on Wednesday over J&K territories under Pakistani occupation amid reports that Islamabad was planning to declare Gilgit-Baltistan a new province. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj asserted in the Lok Sabha that it was incorrect to assume that India would let go of any part of its territory as the government was bound by a resolution in Parliament. She also said that BJP's inspiration stemmed from the party's ideologue and Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee's sacrifice for the cause, to establish Kashmir as an integral part of the country. Swaraj's statement came as a response to opposition demand in the Lok Sabha for a resolution against Pakistan for its move to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province. Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. It has a regional assembly and an elected chief minister. BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab raised the issue during Zero Hour, expressing surprise over New Delhi's silence to the move when the entire world had red-flagged it. He also cautioned the government against forgetting history or it will be condemned to repeat it. Swaraj said that India did not waste even five minutes in condemning it after getting to know about the move. 'Even raising a doubt over this government that it will let go of some area would be wrong,' she added. The foreign minister noted that both Houses had passed resolutions that had reiterated India's claim over POK and Gilgit-Baltistan.