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PoK, an integral part of India, is back in national consciousness: EAM Jaishankar

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Shillong, May 5: Emphasising that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has always been a part of India, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on Sunday, said that the “very sorry state of affairs” has continued because the earlier governments did not pursue Pakistan’s vacation from the region after Independence.

“PoK has never been out of this country. It has always been a part of this country. There is a resolution of the Indian Parliament that PoK is very much a part of India. Now, how did other people get control? Ab ho jaata hai (it happens) when you have someone who is not a responsible custodian of a house, an outsider will come and steal something,” Jaishankar said during an interactive session in Odisha’s Cuttack.

“Here you have allowed another country… It was because we did not pursue the vacation of Pakistan from these territories in the early years of Independence that this very sorry state of affairs has continued. What will happen in the future is very difficult to tell. But, I always tell people one thing that today PoK is in the consciousness once again of the people of India. We had forgotten about it, we were made to forget about it but it is back now, definitely,” he added.

It is not for the first time that the EAM has blamed the previous Congress governments for several problems that had emerged on the foreign policy front, post Independence.

Last week in Hyderabad, Jaishankar told a gathering that Sardar Patel had opposed India approaching the UN on the Kashmir issue, but India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru disregarded it.

“Today, there is a lot of interest in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), but we should not forget how the problem originated. The doors of international pressure opened in 1947 and continued all the way till Article 370 was repealed (in 2019). We have corrected an enormous mistake that we had made in 1947,” said Jaishankar. (IANS)

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