Republic TV’s Consulting Editor on Strategic Affairs Major Gaurav Arya on Tuesday, January 14, spoke about the Army Chief's statement on PoK and said that he is happy that the government is supporting it, even as some leaders of the Congress party have iterated that it was their party that had first taken an unambiguous stand that PoK is a part of India, and some others have gone on to insult the COAS, telling him to 'work, not talk'.
Responding immediately after the Centre's first statement on the matter, Major Gaurav Arya said, "When this matter was first raised in the Parliament and accepted, it was the Congress government under Narasimha Rao if I'm not mistaken and this was done in 1994 possibly. What the Army Chief has said is simply answer to a question."
He added, "The question asked to the Army Chief was 'Can we take back PoK?' He said that if the government desires, then yes. Because it is only the Army Chief who can say this. The head of the railways or the head of the postal service will not take back PoK. It is the Indian Army who will take back PoK."
"So, this was not a statement made by the Chief in isolation, it was a statement made by a journalist who asked him that question. And, I am happy that the government is supporting it."
Speaking about the Opposition's stand over the Army Chief's statement, Major Gaurav Arya said, "As far as the Opposition is having a problem is concerned, the Opposition will have a problem even if today is Tuesday and the Army Chief says today is Tuesday, they will have a problem. So, they will find problems in whatever the Army Chief says."
Three days after Chief of Defence Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane had said that the Indian Army will get PoK if they get a nod from the Parliament, the Centre has now backed his statement. Speaking to reporters, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Shripad Naik said that the spirit of the Army is applaudable.
He said, "This is their work, this is their spirit, it is applaudable. But it is for the government to decide. We are proud that our Army is ready. The entire country is proud of this spirit."
During an annual press briefing on January 11, newly appointed COAS General Naravane stated that if the Parliament orders for the Army to take PoK, then the Army will accordingly take it. He had said, "There is a parliamentary resolution that entire J&K is part of India. If Parliament wants it, then, that area (PoK) also should belong to us. When we get orders to that effect, we'll take appropriate action."