BARMER Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India missed a “golden opportunity” during 1971 war to resolve Kashmir dispute by releasing hundreds of Pakistani troops from the Indian Army’s custody “under global pressure”.
Modi made the observation at an election rally here and said the then Congress government signed Shimla agreement (in 1972) “under global pressure” and released over 90,000 prisoners of war (PoW) instead of resolving the Kashmir dispute “in lieu of the PoW.”
“Pak troops were in our custody. A big area of Pakistan was also captured by Indian forces during the 1971 war but the Congress government lost it on the table in Shimla agreement and they were released,” he said.
“The government crumbled under the global pressure, signed the Shimla agreement and the matter was closed. The PoWs and the captured land were released. That was a golden opportunity to resolve the Kashmir dispute in lieu of the PoW,” he said.
The prime minister said it was a trump card in the government’s hand but the chance was lost and the entire country is facing its repercussions today.
Modi said it was the reason why the Congress leaders do not want nationalism to be an issue.
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