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PoJK is Part of Bharat, EAM in ‘Vishwabandhu Bharat’ event

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Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has reasserted that Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) is a part of Bharat. Addressing an event titled ‘Vishwabandhu Bharat’ in Nasik, he dismissed the notion of a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ limiting Bharat’s actions. When asked about any potential reaction from China if Bharat tried to integrate PoJK, the minister said PoJK is a part of Bharat that had temporarily slipped away due to someone’s weakness.

To a question on what would China’s response be if Bharat crossed the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ and integrated PoJK to the Union of Bharat, given that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan, the External Affairs Minister said, “I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a ‘Lakshman Rekha’. I think PoJK is a part of Bharat, and due to someone’s weakness or mistake, it’s temporarily slipped away from us.”

Reaffirming the parliamentary resolution to reclaim PoJK, the former ambassador to Beijing highlighted the historical context of China’s involvement in the region, stressing that neither Pakistan nor its neighbour can assert its sovereignty over PoJK, as Bharat has a ‘legitimate claim’ over the territory.

“I was China’s ambassador, and we all are aware of China’s past actions and it working hand in glove with Pakistan… its old history. We repeatedly told them that this land, neither Pakistan nor China claims it as theirs. If there’s any sovereign claimant, it’s Bharat. You’re occupying, you’re building there, but the legal title is mine,” Jaishankar added.

Referring to the recent protests in Muzaffarabad, he said residents of PoJK have started raising questions regarding their suffering and mistreatment.

Talking about diplomatic challenges that Bharat is facing with Canada, he Jaishankar said freedom of speech cannot be used to support separatism and advocate violence, adding that Canada is supporting pro-Khalistani elements just to accommodate their vote bank.

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