- India’s Defence Minister had said that if bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were to happen,it will be on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK).
- This statement shows shifts in India’s position on J&K from offensive to defensive policy.It will also put China on alert as it seeks to push ahead with its plan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) which passes through POK.
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK) is that part of Jammu and Kashmir which was invaded by Pakistan in 1947.
- The region is divided into two parts namely the (a)Azad Jammu and Kashmir(AJK) and (b)Gilgit-Baltistan.Pakistan ceded a part of PoK, called the Trans Karakoram Tract to China in 1963.
- AJK has its own constitution,a prime minister and a president although real power is vested with Pakistan.However,the administration of Gilgit-Baltistan was handed over to Pakistan by AJK in 1949.
- PoK is of immense strategic importance because of its location.It shares borders with Pakistan to the west, Afghanistan in the north-west, China to the north and India’s Jammu and Kashmir to the east.
- India’s position has been that since the king of J&K had signed the instrument of accession with India,the whole of J&K including PoK is legitimately an essential part of India.
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