A top Air Force officer on Wednesday said there was no plan “at the moment” to capture Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), but expressed the hope that someday India will have the “whole of Kashmir”.
Speaking to reporters at an event here to mark the 75th anniversary of the Indian troops’ Budgam landing, Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of Western Air Command, Air Marshal Amit Dev, also said the people in PoK are not being treated very fairly by the Pakistanis.
“…All the activities which were carried out by the Indian Air Force and the Army (on October 27, 1947) resulted in ensuring the freedom of this part of Kashmir. I am sure that someday, the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will also join this part of Kashmir and we will have the whole of Kashmir in years to come,” he said.
However, when asked if the force has any plans to capture the PoK, Air Marshal Dev said there was no plan at the moment.
“(The whole of) Kashmir is one, a nation is one. People on both sides have common attachments. Today or tomorrow, history is witness, that nations come together. We do not have a plan at the moment, but, God willing, it will always be there because people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are not being treated very fairly by the Pakistanis,” he said.
Indian troops had landed in Kashmir on October 27, 1947, a day after the then Maharaja Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession with India following the Pakistani tribal raids.
The AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command said the IAF faces many challenges, but the basic one is of technology.
“The rate of change of technology is so fast in the world today that we have to keep pace with that. If any nation which is to grow economically has to have a strong military, we must fulfill our obligation to the nation in the years to come…and we are always ready for the challenge,” he said.
The IAF has become a very capable force and in the years to come, “‘we will continue to serve the nation with honour”‘ he added.