India Defence Minister Pledges To 'Annex' Gilgit-Baltistan 'Soon'

India Defence Minister Pledges To 'Annex' Gilgit-Baltistan 'Soon'
India Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the day was not far when the Pakistani region of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) will become part of the Indian Union.

Singh made the comments at a Srinagar event marked to commemorate the 1947 arrival of Indian troops in what was then the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). "We have just begun our development journey in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. This mission will be completed only when we reach the remaining parts such as Gilgit and Baltistan in line with Parliament’s resolution (of 1994 that demanded Pakistan vacate the occupied territories)... And the dream of Acharya Shankaracharya and Vallabhbhai Patel will be fulfilled and the refugees of 1947 will get justice and will get back their land. And the day isn’t far away when this mandate will also get fulfilled,” Singh was quoted as having said by Hindustan Times.

Singh also lavished praise on India Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating Article 370 -- which guaranteed the disputed territory special status. "“It was the beginning of a new dawn in J&K… We have been waiting for the integration of J&K for the last seven decades,” Singh said, describing the abrogation of Article 370 as a step that ends discrimination against the people of the two union territories."

Earlier in October India External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said just like India was an expert in informational technology its neighbour was an expert in international terrorism. The minister made the remarks at an event in Vadodara, a city in India’s state of Gujarat.

“We have a neighbour. Like we are experts in information technology they are experts in international terrorism. It has been going on for years. Terrorism is terrorism,” he said. Jaishankar’s remarks were met with applause from those present.

Pakistan swiftly rejected his remarks soon after. “His unfounded remarks are yet another manifestation of the Indian leaders’ obsession to concoct facts with respect to terrorism for misleading the international community, and to point fingers at neighbours in a bid to mask India’s own well-know credentials as a state-sponsor of terrorism and a serial violator of human rights,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.