Pak occupied Kashmir controlled by terrorists: Rawat

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. PTI Photo

Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on Friday described Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir as a "terrorist-controlled" part of the neighbouring country and sought to link it with Islamabad's strident criticism of India's decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

In an address at an event, Rawat also asserted that Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK have been under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

The Army Chief cautioned Pakistan not to resort to any "misadventure" against India, saying the Indian armed forces were fully ready to effectively check any such attempts.

"The territory (PoK) occupied by Pakistan is not controlled by the Pakistan establishment but it is controlled by terrorists. PoK is actually a terrorist-controlled part of Pakistan," he said.

In his closing remarks at the Field Marshal KM Cariappa memorial lecture, the Army Chief also said that attempts are being made by Pakistani terrorists to disrupt resumption of normalcy in Kashmir after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We all have been concerned about Jammu and Kashmir and what has been happening there. Jammu and Kashmir has always been part of our great nation," he said.

Gen. Rawat said after signing of the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, by Maharaja Hari Singh, there were mainly three issues -- and only defence, foreign policy and communications, were under control of the Indian government.

"Article 1 of the Constitution and within it there is a section that clearly mentions that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India. And, when we say Jammu and Kashmir, it is the complete state of J-K which includes PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan," he said.

"Therefore PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan become an occupied territory, a territory which has been illegally occupied buy our western neighbour," he said.

The Army chief said Pakistan has upped the ante against India after abrogation of Article 370 as the PoK is controlled by terrorists.

In his address, he referred to the genesis of Article 370 and said when it brought in there with its sub-paragraph, "it was temporary in nature".

"When we introduced it with the word temporary in it, there was no objection from Pakistan on Article 370. It has been amended twice, where the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir was designated as Sadar-e-Riyasat and later prime minister and then chief minister," he added.

The Army Chief also made reference to the recent killing of apple traders in the Valley.

"Attempts are being made by these terrorists to disrupt resumption of normalcy in Kashmir post the abrogation. We have been seeing killing of apple traders, drivers from outside of the state, preventing shops from getting opened, and threatening schoolchildren from attending schools," he said.

"All this narrative is coming from Pakistan and terrorists," he added.

Rawat said the despite the disruptions, Indian forces with the government approach, will achieve its mission of peace and development.

"We will succeed, it may take time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

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