Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Leh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that Pakistan should look into the violation of human rights taking so brazenly in PoK instead of making statements on the internal matters of India.

"I would like to ask Pakistan -- when was Kashmir a part of you? Kashmir was always a part of India. Pakistan has illegally occupied PoK including Gilgit-Baltistan. Instead of speaking on Kashmir, it should look into the human rights violations the people are facing in that region," said Singh.

The Defence Minister, who was addressing a gathering at 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela organised by the Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research (DIHAR) here, said: "Pakistan was part of India, but we respect its existence. This, however, doesn't mean the neighbouring country could do loose talks about Kashmir."

Singh said that India's stand on Jammu and Kashmir has always been clear, and "Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution on Jammu and Kashmir in February 1994."

Speaking about the sentiments of Ladakh's people, Singh said: "By making Ladakh a Union Territory, the Centre has not only honoured the public sentiment but has provided a solution to the people's problems as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aim is to bring the localised solution to the country's strategic areas."

The Defence Minister visited the experimental farm of DIHAR where technologies for the production of quality organic fruits and vegetables are being demonstrated. He also inspected the greenhouse technology, soil-less cultivation technology, potato storage technology, and growing melons under cold climatic conditions.

Inaugurating 'Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela', he said: "The mela provides a platform for interaction between farmers, soldiers and scientists, perfectly imbibing the concept of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan/Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan."

Appreciating the important role played by DIHAR in connecting the soldiers and the society in Ladakh region, he said: "The mela is a big leap towards strengthening the strategic ecosystem of Ladakh."

Singh called upon the scientists at DIHAR to develop a model on 'high altitude survival' that can help the armed forces personnel to brave the harsh and inhospitable conditions and keep their morale high.

He also appreciated the recent initiative of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council to turn Leh into a certified organic district by 2025. He assured all support from the Centre in its organic mission.

DIHAR was established in 1962 to meet the fresh food requirement of the soldiers deployed in the harsh terrain of Ladakh.

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