Retrieving Muzaffarabad Next On Agenda: MoS Jitendra

New Delhi: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that retrieving Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (PcK) is next on the government of India's agenda.

Addressing the 'Mirpur Balidan Diwas' programme dedicated to PcK displaced persons here, Jitendra said the leadership which has the capacity and the will to abrogate Article 370, also has the capacity to retrieve PcK from the “illegal occupation of Pakistan.”

Speaking as the chief guest, the minister said the partition of the South Asian subcontinent was the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind and added that while India suffered the tragedy of partition, Jammu and Kashmir suffered the second tragedy of losing out a part of the erstwhile state to Pakistan.

"Retrieving Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is next on the agenda," Jitendra said.

He said it was always believed and said that Article 370 would never be abrogated but under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this was made possible and in the same way the resolve to retrieve PcK would also be accomplished.

Jitendra, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said, retrieving PcK is not only a political and national agenda, but also a responsibility towards the respect for human rights because "our brethren in PoJK are living in inhuman conditions" and have been mercilessly denied even basic amenities like healthcare and education.

He said the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took over the responsibility of accession of over 560 princely states at the time of independence and successfully accomplished it but he was kept out of J&K because Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to handle J&K at his own level.

Even after Pakistan attacked J&K in the autumn of 1947, Nehru was hesitant to send Indian forces to Jammu and Kashmir and it was only after empathic intervention by Sardar Patel that the first contingent of Sikh Regiment landed in Srinagar, said Jitendra, who is Lok Sabha member from the Udhampur constituency.

“Deviating from the propriety of collective decision-making, Nehru had on his own declared unilateral ceasefire just when the Indian forces were about to retrieve the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir captured by Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan would never manage gaining control of parts of Kashmir “if only Patel was given a free hand,” said Jitendra.

On the occasion, a camp was also organised to make domicile certificates for the members of PcK community living in Delhi.

The minister asked every member of the displaced community to get their domicile certificate. (With Inputs From PTI)

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