New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said Pakistan has no locus standi in Jammu & Kashmir and it should stop making statements on the internal matters of India.
He was addressing farmers, security personnel and scientists after inaugurating the 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela organised by Defence Institute of High-Altitude Research (DIHAR) at Leh on August 29.
The Defence Minister said, “I would like to ask Pakistan, when was Kashmir a part of you? Kashmir was always a part of India”.
Rajnath Singh said, “our stand on Jammu & Kashmir has always been clear and added that in February 1994, Parliament unanimously passed a resolution on J&K.”
He also said, Pakistan has illegally occupied PoK including Gilgit-Baltistan and instead of speaking on Kashmir it should look into the human rights violations the people are facing in that region.
The Defence Minister said, by making Ladakh a Union Territory, the government has not only honoured the public sentiment but provided a solution to the people’s problems. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim is to bring ‘localised solution’ to the country’s ‘strategic areas’, he added.
The Defence Minister inaugurated ‘Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela’ in the presence of Chief Executive Counselor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO, Dr Satheesh Reddy and other senior civilian & Army officials in Ladakh.
Rajnath Singh also visited the experimental farm of DIHAR where technologies for production of quality organic fruits and vegetables are being demonstrated. He inspected the greenhouse technology, soil-less cultivation technology, potato storage technology and growing melons under cold climatic conditions.
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.
The Defence Minister called upon the scientists at DIHAR to develop, within three years when it completes 60 years of its establishment, 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. The Indian Army has the capability to become the best ‘High Altitude Warfare’ force in the world, he added.
He also appreciated the recent initiative of LAHDC to turn Leh into a certified organic district by 2025. He assured support from the Government 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. Through the technologies developed by the institute, the Army is getting locally grown fresh organic farm produce. As a spin-off of the technologies developed, farmers in Ladakh are able to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables resulting in improving their socio-economic condition.