India rejects Pakistan’s accord of provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, says it has no locus standi

Ahead of the Gilgit-Baltistan polls on November 15, India rejected the newly granted ‘provisional provincial status’ to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK)

Avatar Written by November 1, 2020 21:49
India lodges protest with Pak deputy envoy over so-called Gilgit-Baltistan order

New Delhi: Ahead of the Gilgit-Baltistan polls on November 15, India on Sunday rejected Pakistan’s move of granting provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan. In a strongly worded reply, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs Anurag Srivastava said “the area of so-called Gilgit-Baltistan” are an integral part of India.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava affirmed that PoK was part of India as per the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947. Asking Pakistan to not ‘alter the status of these Indian territories’, India said attempts to camouflage Pak’s illegal occupation can’t hide grave human rights violations in PoK.

“I reiterate that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947. The Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it,” a statement released by MEA stated.

Srivastava called this an attempt of Pakistan to “camouflage its illegal occupation” in the region. He said that Khan and his government cannot hide the “grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom for over seven decades” to the people residing in these Pakistan-occupied territories. “Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” Srivastava’s statement added.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan formally announced the provisional provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan at a public gathering in Gilgit held to mark the 73rd Independence Day of the region. Khan claimed the government had fulfilled a long-standing demand of the people of the region. The decision, he said, had been taken within the framework of United Nations Security Council’s resolutions.

There have been massive protests against this move in Gilgit-Baltistan by bodies like –  Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Student Liberation Front, accusing Pakistan of exploiting the region of its resources, state reports. The 11 Opposition parties which form the coalition ‘Pakistan Democratic movement’ too have opposed this move, but most parties will contest for Gilgit-Baltistan polls.