New Delhi: Rejecting the Pakistan government’s decision to accord “provisional provincial status” to the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, India on Sunday sharply reacted and said such attempts by Islamabad intended to ‘‘camouflage its illegal occupation’’.
In a response to media queries on remarks by Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan in Gilgit today regarding his government’s decision to giving such status to Gilgit-Baltistan, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation.’’
‘‘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’’, he said.
The Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it, Srivastava added.
Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to ‘‘camouflage its illegal occupation’’, 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, he said.
Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, ‘‘we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation”, the spokesperson said.
Prime Minister, Imran Khan on Sunday announced the granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.
“One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status”, Khan said while speaking during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan.
This comes following Saudi Arabia removing Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan from Pakistan’s map.