oi-Shiv Kumar Singh
PoK: Statements regarding taking back the occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir keep coming from the side of the Central Government and the Indian Army. For example, a few days back, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi said that the Indian Army is ready to act in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. For this, just waiting for the order of the government.
Not only Pakistan but China has also occupied
On 31 October 2019, a new official map of India including the Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh was released by the Government of India. These maps also showed those areas of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh which are under illegal occupation of Pakistan and China. Unfortunately, earlier in the map of India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was shown only by a line, in which there was no mention of China and Pakistan’s territories.
In common parlance, which till some time ago was called by the name of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK, now the Central Government has started addressing it as Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. According to the new state formation, the address of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has also become inconsistent because in the new notification, the region of Gilgit and Baltistan is a part of Ladakh, so officially its relation with Jammu and Kashmir has ended. Therefore, it is not right to call this land as Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Similarly, for a long time, China occupied Jammu and Kashmir was also irresponsibly called POK, which had no basis. Keeping in mind the new context, now those areas of India, which have been occupied by Pakistan or China, have got three new identities – (1) Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir, (2) Pakistan occupied Ladakh, and (3) China Mostly Ladakh.
Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir
In October 1947, Pakistani aggressors invaded Jammu and Kashmir. After the accession to India by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 October, the Indian Army arrived in the state and succeeded in clearing most of the Srinagar Valley from these invaders.
After the ceasefire implemented as per the resolution of the United Nations Security Council, the advance of the Indian army stopped and Mirpur and Poonch of Jammu under the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and Muzaffarabad area of Kashmir remained under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and remains so till date. Is. Pakistan named it ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ and has set up a showy democratic structure.
The area of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is 13,297 km. Located in the west of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, this territory is bordered by Gilgit Baltistan in the north and West Pakistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the south and west. The 555 km long Line of Control connects it with Jammu and Kashmir and 212 km with Gilgit Baltistan. It is separated from Pakistan by 277 and 206 km border lines from western Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa respectively.
Gilgit-Baltistan is the North-West Frontier region of India. It is bordered by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and China’s Xinjiang province to the east. Situated between Hindukush, Karakoram and Pamir, this area touches the border of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. Its area is 72,971 km², which is about 86 percent of the total area occupied by Pakistan. In terms of area, this area is more than five times that of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Before the occupation of Pakistan, the administrative system here was under the Wazire-Wazarat of Skardu and Gilgit Agency. At the time of Pakistani invasion, the Maharaja’s forces fought for a long time here, but due to non-availability of help, they finally had to surrender. Due to the suspicious role of Major Brown in Gilgit, Pakistan got an opportunity to gain control there but in Skardu the princely army was struggling till 14 August 1948.
The 1300 km long Karakoram Highway built by China passes through here. After crossing the Khunjarab Pass near Hunza, this highway enters Gilgit-Baltistan at Tashkurgan. It enters Pakistan passing through Nagar, Gilgit, Chilas and crossing the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza rivers, passing near Nanga Parbat. High mountain peaks like Rakaposhi, Masherbroom, Nanga Parbat and K2 (Godwin Austin) are located here.
This is an inaccessible area connecting Central Asia with South Asia, which is very important from a strategic point of view and through which dominance can be kept in the whole of Asia.
In 1970, Pakistan merged the areas named Gilgit Agency, Baltistan of Ladakh Wazarat, Hunza and Nagar to form this administrative unit called Northern Region (Shumali Tehsil Jat). Pakistan claims that the region is separate from disputed Kashmir, while the European Union also considers it a part of the larger Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir.
China occupied Ladakh
At the time of British control, the state of Jammu and Kashmir extended up to the border of Tibet. Although at that time Ladakh was also called Little Tibet by some people and the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir also added the words Tibet etc. Deshadhipati in his title, but broadly it included the area of Aksai Chin and Kailash-Mansarovar which historically remained political for thousands of years. No, there were also parts of cultural India.
India’s relations with China were allegedly cordial till 1962, so the idea of deploying army on that border did not even occur to the Indian leadership. But China crookedly kept on raising slogans of Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai on the one hand, on the other hand its army had crossed the McMahon Line and entered India.
In 1958, it built a road from Gartok in Tibet to Xinjiang which passed through Aksaichin. India was overwhelmed by the friendship between the two countries and came to know about the construction of the road years later in 1962 when some jawans went to the area for trekking.
On 20 October 1962, the Chinese army rapidly entered Indian territory from posts located near the Karakoram Pass and Pangong Lake. India was neither mentally nor strategically prepared for this. China occupied 37,555 sq km area of Aksaichin and made its fronts in Demchok and Pangong. Declaring it as part of western Tibet, he started calling it Shizang province. Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is at a considerable distance from here and it takes more than 11 days to reach Lhasa from here, even though the road is flat and good.
India believes that India’s border with China in the western sector is 1597 kilometers and due to the entire Aksai Chin being in the Indian map, its 38 thousand km of land is under illegal occupation of China. At the same time, China claims that only 33 thousand square km area of Aksai Chin is under its control, which is undisputedly its own. According to China, it shares only 600 km border with India in the western sector.
China, which has accepted the Line of Actual Control in the past, also keeps on trying to change it. The recent violent clash in the Galwan Valley, in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, is the result of his efforts. He has been doing such incidents in the past as well, as a result of which he has built his posts and roads at many places beyond the Line of Actual Control.
After the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, the area came under its control during the Pakistani invasion in 1947–48 and remained under its control after the ceasefire. In 1962, China invaded and took 37555 sq km area of Aksai Chin under its control.
In 1963, based on this argument of China, Pakistan handed over the Shaksgam Valley and its surrounding areas to China under an agreement. However, Ayub Khan, the military ruler of Pakistan, later noted that it was an agreement of compulsion and that China had already occupied the Shaksgam Valley before the agreement.
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Story first published: Thursday, November 24, 2022, 18:14 [IST]