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'Pakistan not wearing bangles' Farooq Abdullah reacts after Rajnath Singh says 'PoK will be merged with India'
Photo courtesy: Video grab/ Avishek Mitra/IBNS

'Pakistan not wearing bangles' Farooq Abdullah reacts after Rajnath Singh says 'PoK will be merged with India'

| @indiablooms | 05 May 2024, 10:10 pm

New Delhi/ Srinagar: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has said Pakistan is “not wearing bangles” and has “nuclear bombs”, reacting to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s remark that India would never give up its claim on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and its people would join India of their own accord, media reports said.

Singh asserted that India would not have to use force to capture PoK because its people would want to leave Pakistan after seeing Jammu & Kashmir’s development.

"I think India will not have to do anything. The way the ground situation has changed in Jammu and Kashmir, the way the region is witnessing economic progress and the way peace has returned there, I think demands will emerge from people of PoK that they should merge with India," he said in an interview with PTI.

"We will not have to use force to take PoK as people would say that we must be merged with India. Such demands are now coming," he said.

The defence minister maintained that "PoK was, is, and will remain ours".

Referring to the improvement in the ground situation on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh indicated that assembly elections would take place there in the near future, though he refrained from specifying a timeline.

"The way the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir, I think a time will come when AFSPA will no longer be required there. It is my view and it is for the Home Ministry to decide on it," he said.

On Pakistan’s proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said, "They are trying to destabilise India and we will not allow it to happen."

Farooq Abdullah reacts

Reacting to the remarks, Farooq Abdullah dared Rajnath Singh to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, news agency ANI reported.

"If the defence minister is saying it then go ahead. Who are we to stop. But remember, they (Pakistan) are also not wearing bangles. It has atom bombs, and unfortunately, that atom bomb will fall on us," the National Conference leader said.

India and Pakistan's relations strained further after India conducted airstrikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019, following the Pulwama terror attack.

Tensions escalated further when India abrogated Article 370, revoking Jammu and Kashmir's special powers and the division of the state into two union territories on August 5, 2019.

India has reiterated that it desires normal friendly relations with Pakistan but insists that Islamabad must create a terrorism-free and peaceful environment for such engagement to occur.

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