Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is an integral part of India and that a resolution has been passed in the Parliament regarding it.

“How can it be that Baba Amarnath in the form of Shiva is with us and Mother Sharda Shakti is on the other side of LoC [Line of Control],” Singh said during an event in Jammu.

He was referring to the Amarnath Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir and the Sharda Peeth – an abandoned temple of the Hindu goddess Saraswati in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Singh made the remarks while speaking at a commemoration ceremony of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, the celebration of the Indian forces’ victory against Pakistan during the 1999 Kargil war.

During Sunday’s event, Singh said that Pakistan adopted the path of proxy wars after it was defeated by India in the wars of 1965 and 1971, The Hindu reported.

“For over two decades, it [Pakistan] has tried to bleed India with a thousand cuts,” Singh said. “But, time and again, our brave soldiers have shown that no one can disturb the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India.”

The defence minister said that India wanted to have friendly ties with the neighbouring country, but could not understand why it behaved “differently”.

“Pakistan’s behaviour is totally different,” Singh remarked. “During the Kargil war, Pakistani intruders had sneaked into Indian territory, but when Indian soldiers launched their attack, Pakistani soldiers and intruders had to flee from Indian posts.”

On abrogation of Article 370

During the event in Jammu, Singh claimed that the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir brought a new dawn of hope to the dreams and aspirations of the people in the region, notably among the youths.

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two Union Territories after the Centre scrapped its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019.

“The decision opened new avenues for the welfare of the people and the Union Territory is now progressing at a much faster rate,” Singh said, according to ANI.

Meanwhile, the defence minister also urged BJP leaders in the Union Territory to be in “ready mode” for Assembly elections, The Greater Kashmir reported.