New Delhi: India on Monday issued a demarche to Pakistan and lodged a strong protest against a recent order of the Pakistani Supreme Court that reportedly allowed the amendment to the so-called Order of 2018 of the Pakistani government to now conduct general elections in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. Through that so-called Order exactly two years ago in May, 2018, the then Pakistan government had seized more authority from the local council in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to deal with the affairs of that region. India has always regarded Gilgit-Baltistan as part of its territory which has been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947-48.
In a statement, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said, “India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’. It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu & 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.”
The MEA further 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 & Kashmir. Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”
The MEA added, “It was further conveyed that such actions can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades. The government of India’s position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus.”