Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said India can wrest Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir back through planned development in the state and not war, PTI reported. His remark comes even as other leaders and ministers have suggested taking back the territory using force. Malik said he was confident people would “revolt” and cross over to the Indian side without using force.

“I have been seeing for the past 10 to 15 days that many of our ministers, who do not get to talk on international matters, have been repeatedly talking about invading PoK, taking it back etc,” Malik said at a function in Srinagar to mark the launch of several power projects. “My belief is that if PoK is the next target, we can take it on the basis on the development of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Malik said if the people of Jammu and Kashmir received love and respect and if the future of their children were secured, if they saw development and prosperity in the state, “I can guarantee that within a year or so there will be a revolt in PoK and you will get it without a confrontation”. “The residents of PoK will on their own say that they want to come this side,” the governor said, insisting this was the roadmap for the inclusion of PoK.

“There are 22,000 Kashmiri students studying in different states of the country and they should be treated with love,” he added.

A day earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir was a part of India and the Centre expected to have physical jurisdiction over it in the future. Several other Bharatiya Janata Party leaders had also spoken about the disputed territory. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had last month said any discussion with Pakistan would be restricted to PoK and not on Kashmir. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also said in a speech last month that India would take PoK back from the neighbouring country.

Malik and Union Power Minister RK Singh inaugurated 15 power projects in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh and laid the foundation stone for another 20 projects.

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