‘Pakistan illegally occupying Gilgit-Baltistan’: Rajnath Singh

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said this while addressing rallies in Chiraiya, Sugauli, Bathnaha and Khajauli, where voting will be held in the third phase on November 7. The Bihar Assembly elections are being held in three phases and the results will be announced on November 10.

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh said that Gilgit-Baltistan, part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is an integral part of India and slammed the Imran Khan government’s move to grant provincial status to it.
“Pakistan has illegally occupied Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan is going to make it a province now. Our government has clarified that Gilti-Baltistan, along with entire PoK, is an integral part of India,” Singh tweeted in Hindi.

“We never wanted the Partition of India, but it happened. The minorities which were left in India, you know how they are treated. We brought a law for these persecuted minorities,” the defence minister said in subsequent tweet.

This comes a day after the Pakistan government announced the granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan. The decision was taken amid massive protests against the Imran Khan-led government.

India had strongly protested Pakistan’s move to make Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province and to hold legislative elections there later this month, asserting that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India. New Delhi also said that Islamabad had “no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied it.”

Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, also listed the achievements of the Bharatiya Janata Paty (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre while campaigning in poll-bound Bihar. He addressed rallies in Chiraiya, Sugauli, Bathnaha and Khajauli, where voting will be held in the third phase on November 7.

The defence minister highlighted the special focus of the Centre in uplifting the poor by building toilets, opening Jan Dhan accounts for them and other such initiatives.

He also said that the huge crowd that gathered in his rallies made his belief stronger that the NDA is going to form the government in Bihar. The BJP is fighting this election along with the ruling Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) and other parties under the NDA umbrella.

He also said that Bihar suffered with brain drain during earlier regime, but the NDA government opened a number of engineering and polytechnic colleges to help the youth of the state.

Bihar will witness second phase of polling on Tuesday (November 3) in 94 constituencies. Singh, along with many Union ministers Smriti Irani, Giriraj Singh and Anurag Thakur, besides senior party leaders such as BJP chief J P Nadda have addressed a number of rallies in the election season in the state.

The BJP leaders have repeatedly raked up the Ram Temple issues, abrogation of Article 370, Triple Talaq and Pakistani minister’s admission of his country’s involvement in the Pulwama attack of 2019 that had left 40 CRPF Jawans dead.