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Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij says Indira could have bargained for PoK in exchange for Pakistan PoWs

Source : Hindustan Times

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij says Indira could have bargained for PoK in exchange for Pakistan PoWs
Home Minister of the Haryana Govt, Shri Anil Vij (File Photo)



Stirring a fresh controversy, Haryana home minister Anil Vij on Thursday blamed the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for not bargaining enough while signing the Simla Agreement with then Pakistan president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972, saying that India could have asked for Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) in return for the prisoners of the 1971 war.

Vij’s statement came on a day when the nation is celebrating the golden jubilee of Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan. Vij tweeted that the country is still bearing the burden of Indira Gandhi’s decision. “Politicians lost the army’s victory in the 1971 war at the Simla Agreement. We could have asked for PoK in return for the 93,000 PoWs (prisoners of war), but we didn’t bargain. It was a big mistake the consequences of which we are still facing,” the Haryana minister wrote in Hindi.

In the Simla Agreement, signed on July 2, 1972, between Indira Gandhi and Bhutto after the 1971 war, a withdrawal of troops and exchange of PoWs were mutually agreed upon.According to the ministry of external affairs (MEA), the agreement “was a comprehensive blueprint for good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan. Under the Simla Agreement, both countries undertook to abjure conflict and confrontation which had marred relations in the past, and to work towards the establishment of durable peace, friendship and cooperation.”

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