The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that the protests witnessed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are natural consequence of Islamabad’s continued policy of systemic plundering of resources from the region.

Addressing weekly media briefing, the ministry’s spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “We believe that it is a natural consequence of Pakistan’s continued policy of systemic plundering of resources from these territories which remain under its forcible and illegal occupation.”

“Such exploitative policies deny the local people, rights over their own resources and the benefits thereof,” reported PTI quoting Jaiswal.

Jaiswal also said that the Union Territories of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir are an inseparable part of India and will always be, reported ANI.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the tolerance for any cross-border terrorism is very low and added,” If they wind down this (terror) industry they have created, then people will treat them as normal neighbours. If they make this their core competence, that will define their image. We have been straight with them. They have to make up their mind.”Two days ago, Jaishankar had asserted that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was, is and will always be part of India.

“I have no doubt in my own mind that someone living in PoK is comparing their situation with someone actually living in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that how is it that people today are actually progressing there,” he said.

Earlier this month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India will never give up its claim of PoK but it won’t have to capture it with force because its people, on their own, would want to be part of India after seeing the development in Kashmir.

Addressing an election rally in Ballia’s Sikandarpur in support of the BJP’s Salempur candidate Ravindra Kushwaha, Singh asserted, “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir was ours, is ours and will remain ours.”

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