Risking further inflaming tensions over Kashmir, a chief minister in the Indian state of Gujarat warned Pakistan to brace for losing its part of the contested state to New Delhi as it is ready to ‘re-unite’ pre-1947 India.
Islamabad “should be ready to lose Pakistani-occupied Kashmir,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quoted as saying by local media, using the Indian term for the disputed territory. The bellicose remark came weeks after India stripped Jammu and Kashmir region of its autonomous status, which the minister said provides an opening for Indian territorial claims.
Now, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) too is ours … For fulfilling the dream of united India, we are ready to move forward for PoK.
Both countries were part of British India until the 1947 partition which triggered bitter sectarian divides and led to the Kashmir dispute. India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it.
They fought a number of conventional wars, along with several border skirmishes, most recently this February. At the time, Indian jets bombed what New Delhi said were camps of Islamist insurgent group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which had carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Islamabad responded with force, and the hostilities ultimately evolved into intense shelling from both sides and open aerial combat.
Relations hit another low last month when India revoked the self-governing status of Jammu and Kashmir.
India claims the move is necessary to curb terrorism and boost Kashmir’s economy, but Pakistan insists it is unlawful and risks stirring up violence in the region. Eventually, both sides engaged in a lingering war of words, threatening each other with coercive measures.
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