New Delhi: India has conveyed its protest to Pakistan over an order by that country’s Supreme Court allowing the conduct of general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan was told that entire Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India and that Islamabad should immediately vacate the areas under its “illegal occupation”.
In a recent order, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed the amendment to the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 to conduct the general elections in the region.
“India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’,” the MEA said in a statement.
“It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession,” it said.
The MEA said the government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories “illegally and forcibly” occupied by it.
“India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
“Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” it added.
The MEA said Pakistan’s recent actions can neither hide the “illegal occupation” of parts of union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by it nor the “grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom” to the people residing in these areas for the past seven decades.
Pak Rejects Indian Protest, Says GB Disputed Territory
Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat to convey its rejection of what it called India’s “baseless and fallacious contention” regarding a verdict by Pakistan’s Supreme Court on the holding of general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The move came hours after India said it has conveyed its strong protest to Pakistan over Islamabad’s efforts to bring “material change” to territories under its “illegal and forcible” occupation after the country’s top court allowed holding of elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
In a recent ruling, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed the government to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region. The Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Prime Minister of Pakistan to legislate on an array of subjects.
In Islamabad, the Foreign Office said in a statement that a senior Indian diplomat was summoned to convey Pakistan’s rejection of India’s baseless and fallacious contention against the apex court verdict on Gilgit-Baltistan.
It said Pakistan clearly conveyed that the Indian statement over Jammu and Kashmir as an ‘integral part’ of India” had no legal basis whatsoever”.
“The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is a ‘disputed’ territory and is recognised as such by the international community, the FO added.