India on Monday demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong 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-Baltistan, are an integral part of India and that Islamabad should immediately vacate the areas under its illegal occupation.
“India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’,” an MEA satement said.
“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 further said that the government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories “illegally and forcibly occupied” by it.
The protest comes as the Pakistan Supreme Court, in a recent order, allowed the amendment to the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 to conduct the general elections in the region in September and setting up a caretaker government during the interim period. The order said Gilgit-Baltistan came within its domain.
India asserted that it “completely rejects” such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” it added.
The Government of India’s position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus, the ministry said.
It further added that 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.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the Imran Khan-led government for continuing with the policy of subjugation of the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region, a part India’s Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan’s occupation.
In its latest report on human rights violations in Pakistan released on Thursday, the HRCP has said that Pakistan’s objection to the abolition of special status for Indian Jammu and Kashmir “appears odd, because Pakistan itself has not granted special status to one of its components (GB).”