'Pok Has, Is And Will Always Be Part Of India': EAM Jaishankar's Firm Stance As Protests Intensify (WATCH)

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In the midst of escalating tensions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar on Monday reiterated India's unwavering stance on the region, emphasizing that PoK has, is, and will always be an integral part of India. His comments come at a critical juncture as protests against high prices of essential commodities and government policies grip the disputed territory.

During a press interaction, Dr. Jaishankar outlined the achievements of the Modi government, underscoring India's clear position on PoK. He referenced a Parliament resolution affirming PoK as part of India, emphasizing the government's intention to end the illegal occupation and merge it back with India.

"Modi government is clear and there is also a Parliament resolution that PoK is part of India, it was always a part of India and it will be a part of India. It is our intention that one day we will end the illegal occupation of PoK and merge it back with India. The opposition's thoughts on this are in the opposite direction. Be it Farooq sahib or Mani Shakar Aiyar, they are so scared of Pakistan's nuclear weapons that they think we should not talk about PoK," the EAM said.

Meanwhile, PoK has been engulfed in unrest as protests against skyrocketing prices of wheat flour, inflated electricity bills, and taxes intensify. The situation reached a boiling point with clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in casualties and injuries. A complete strike has paralyzed the region, with markets, trade centers, and educational institutes shuttered, and transport suspended.

The Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC), representing various segments of society, has been at the forefront of the protests, demanding fair pricing of electricity, subsidized wheat flour, and an end to privileges enjoyed by the elite. Despite negotiations with the government, talks have reached an impasse, prompting the JAAC to announce a long march to Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK.

The protesters have resorted to sit-ins and road blockades, amplifying pressure on the government. In response, authorities have deployed heavy contingents of police and called in the Rangers to quell the unrest. However, the situation remains tense, with incidents of violence and arrests reported.

In light of the escalating crisis, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has convened a high-level meeting to address the grievances of the protesters. He has emphasized the need for dialogue and peaceful resolution of the issues, urging all parties to refrain from violence.

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari has called for restraint and dialogue among all stakeholders to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. He has assured that grievances will be addressed within the framework of the law, expressing condolences for the casualties and injuries incurred during the clashes.

As tensions mount in PoK, Dr. Jaishankar's firm stance on India's sovereignty over the region serves as a reminder of the government's commitment to reclaiming territories under illegal occupation. While protests rock PoK, India remains steadfast in its assertion that PoK is an integral part of its territory, echoing the sentiments of millions of Indians who await the day when the region is reunited with the rest of the country.


AsiaNet News

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