The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, while addressing a ceremony on the launch of the honorary postal stamp for Siachen Warriors reiterated, “Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is ours”. Talking about Article 370 as a temporary provision in the Constitution of India, the Army Chief explained that Gilgit Baltistan and PoK have always been a part of India. Sending a clear message to the “western neighbour” Pakistan, Rawat also said that PoK is being illegally controlled by them. General Bipin Rawat also asserted that PoK is under the control of terrorists.
Talking about Article 370, General Bipin Rawat said, “We have all been concerned about Jammu and Kashmir and what has been happening there. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that Jammu and Kashmir has always been the part of our great nation. On October 26, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession, as Maroof Raza brought out, there were only three main issues that were within the control of the Indian government that is defence, foreign policy, and communication. But enshrined in Article 1 item 15 of our Constitution, it is clearly mentioned that Jammu and Kashmir as a whole is part of India.”
The Army Chief continued by saying, “And when we say ‘Jammu and Kasmir as a whole’, we also mean PoK and Gilgit Baltistan. Therefore, PoK and Gilgit Pakistan become an occupied territory, a territory that has been illegally occupied by our western neighbour. In Article 370’s subparagraph three, it is very clearly mentioned that it is temporary in nature. When Article 370 was introduced with the word ‘temporary’ then there was no objection from Pakistan. This article has been amended twice, where the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir was designated to the Sadr-e-Riyasat, later on, the Prime Minister and then the Chief Minister. Therefore, why is it that Pakistan has suddenly woke up and raised the ante on the abrogation of Article 370. This is because this territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan is not controlled by the Pakistani establishment, it is controlled by terrorists. PoK is actually a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan.”