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India will eventually take control of Pakistan Kashmir, Indian FM predicts

India will eventually take control of Pakistan Kashmir, Indian FM predicts
India’s foreign minister says he expects Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to one day become Indian territory, fanning the flames of an escalating territorial dispute between the two nuclear rivals.

The region of Kashmir currently administered by Pakistan “is part of India and we expect one day that we will have physical jurisdiction over it,” Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told a news conference on Tuesday.

He added that India faces a “unique challenge” from Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of “openly” using terrorism as part of its foreign policy.

His inflammatory statements come a day after a chief minister in the Indian state of Gujarat warned Pakistan that New Delhi was ready to take back Kashmir in order to “reunite” India.

Islamabad “should be ready to lose Pakistani-occupied Kashmir,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quoted as saying by local media, using the Indian term for the disputed territory.

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The bloody territorial dispute traces its roots back to 1947, following the partition of British India. Both of the newly-independent states of India and Pakistan laid claim to Kashmir, triggering the sectarian violence which continues to the present day.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought a number of conventional wars over Kashmir’s status, with border skirmishes becoming almost routine. In February, Indian jets bombed what New Delhi said was a Pakistan hideout of Islamist insurgent group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which had carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Islamabad retaliated by shooting down an Indian fighter jet.

Tensions spiked in August, after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi says that the decision was motivated by a desire to stamp out terrorism and corruption in the region. Both sides have warned that the tense situation could spark war – or even a nuclear conflict.

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