India’s Defence Minister had said that if bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were to happen,it will be on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK).
This statement shows shifts in India’s position on J&K from offensive to defensive policy.It will also put China on alert as it seeks to push ahead with its plan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) which passes through POK.
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK) is that part of Jammu and Kashmir which was invaded by Pakistan in 1947.
The region is divided into two parts namely the (a)Azad Jammu and Kashmir(AJK) and (b)Gilgit-Baltistan.Pakistan ceded a part of PoK, called the Trans Karakoram Tract to China in 1963.
AJK has its own constitution,a prime minister and a president although real power is vested with Pakistan.However,the administration of Gilgit-Baltistan was handed over to Pakistan by AJK in 1949.
PoK is of immense strategic importance because of its location.It shares borders with Pakistan to the west, Afghanistan in the north-west, China to the north and India’s Jammu and Kashmir to the east.
India’s position has been that since the king of J&K had signed the instrument of accession with India,the whole of J&K including PoK is legitimately an essential part of India.