Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the Centre’s aim is to implement the resolution unanimously passed in the Indian Parliament on February 22, 1994, to reclaim the remaining parts of Kashmir such as Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Rajnath Singh attended the ‘Shaurya Diwas’ celebrations in Srinagar today to commemorate the air-landed operations of the Indian Army at Budgam Airport in 1947, which ensured the first civil-military victory of Independent India.
On October 27, 1947, Indian Army troops were transported by the Indian Air Force to Budgam Airport to evict Pakistani forces from J-K, a day after the ‘Instrument of Accession was signed between Maharaja Hari Singh and the Republic of India. October 27, hence is celebrated as ‘Infantry Day’.
The Indian Army displayed the Pakistani attack through theatrical adaptation. The Dakota aircraft by which the army personnel landed here in 1947, was also displayed on the airfield. During the theatrical version of the attack, personnel of the Battalion 46 RR were landed here by an advanced AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
In a conversation with the media, the 46 RR jawans said they are proud that they are part of the same regiment, which taught Pakistan a lesson 75 years ago.
Addressing the event, the Defence Minister paid rich tributes to the heroes of the Armed Forces and the people of J-K who laid down their lives to protect the unity and integrity of the country.
He stated that it is because of their valour and sacrifice that J-K remained an integral part of India and will continue to be in the future. He asserted that despite a number of stumbling blocks, India has risen time and again because of the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers and today it is standing tall on the strong foundation laid by them.
“The greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. The incident of 1947 is one such instance,” he said.
Singh pointed out that some areas illegally occupied by Pakistan are still devoid of that progress. The minister added that post-independence the people of J-K were deprived of development and tranquillity for decades, until the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the helm and abrogated Article 370, bringing a new era of peace and progress in the Union Territory.
He said, earlier some anti-India elements used to disturb peace and harmony in the name of religion, but now there is peace and tranquillity in J-K due to the persistent efforts by the government and the armed forces.
“Pakistan is fully responsible for inhuman incidents against innocent Indians in PoK. In the times to come, Pakistan will face the result of its atrocities. Today, the region of J-K and Ladakh is touching new heights of development. This is just the beginning. Our aim is to implement the resolution unanimously passed in the Indian Parliament on February 22, 1994 to reclaim remaining parts, such as Gilgit and Baltistan,” he said.
Singh recalled the valour of the first Param Vir Chakra recipient, Major Somnath Sharma, who despite being injured led a company and saved the Srinagar airfield from enemy clutches and in the process made the supreme sacrifice.
He also paid tributes to the bravery of other Gallantry award winners such as Brigadier Rajinder Singh and Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai, who gave away their lives to protect the motherland. He also remembered the former Chief Minister of Odisha, the late Biju Patnaik, who as a pilot during the war, made a valuable contribution to the movement of the troops.
He commended the crucial role played by the people of J-K who helped the Armed Forces in forcing the enemies to retreat and protect the sovereignty of the country.
Rajnath Singh termed the campaign of October 27, 1947 as one for safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity as well as the safety of the people. It was a campaign to protect the dreams and aspirations of the people of J-K, he said.