In Parliament on Monday (11 December), Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) unequivocally belongs to India, emphasising that no one can seize it.
After introducing the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, in the Rajya Sabha, both of which were approved, Shah declared that 23 seats have been designated for PoK.
While reaffirming the government's commitment to restoring statehood in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah stated, "I have already pledged that statehood of Jammu and Kashmir will be reinstated at an appropriate time."
He highlighted the changes in seat distribution resulting from the new delimitation commission's report and remarked, "In PoK, 24 seats have been reserved since PoK belongs to us."
Taking a dig at Jawaharlal Nehru, Shah asserted that no one has the authority to cede a part of India's territory to "display a big heart".
Mocking the Congress, he stated, "if there was no untimely ceasefire, Pakistan would not have occupied Kashmir today. Our Army was winning, they were running away. If Nehru had stayed on for two more days, the entire PoK would have come under Tiranga (tricolour).”
The Home Minister said that “everyone knows that the accession of Kashmir to India was delayed because there was a demand to give special status to Sheikh Abdullah”.
He informed the house while replying to a debate on bills that earlier there were 83 seats in J&K, which has now been increased to 90.
Quoting data, he said that 42,000 people have lost their lives. “It was not about religious identity, whether they were Hindu or Muslim. States like Bihar, Gujarat and UP have larger Muslim populations than in Kashmir. But these states never witnessed the situation. But separation flourished in J&K just because of Article 370,” he said.
“I would like to ask a question to those who adhere to Nehru’s philosophy: If Article 370 was extremely important, why did Nehru himself use the term ‘temporary’? Everyone who says Article 370 is permanent is insulting the Constitution,” Shah said.
Reading out a quotation of Nehru, he said, “One thing is clear and known to everyone now: had there not been an untimely ceasefire, there would not have been PoK today.” He cited a reference in which Nehru had admitted that the untimely ceasefire was his mistake.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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