India on Sunday rejected Pakistan’s move of granting “provisional-provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan and called upon Islamabad to vacate all areas under its illegal occupation. In a press conference the MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava 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 MEA reaction comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced the granting of “provisional provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan, Dawn reported. While denouncing Pakistan’s move, India reiterated that Union Territories of J&K, and Ladakh, including Gilgit-Baltistan, are an integral part of India.
“Government of India firmly rejects attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation. I reiterate Union Territories of J&K, and Ladakh, including Gilgit-Baltistan, are an integral part of India,” Srivastava added. The MEA spokesperson further said that attempts to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan are intended to camouflage Pak’s illegal occupation.
“Such attempts, intended to camouflage Pak’s illegal occupation, can’t hide grave human rights violations and denial of freedom for over 7 decades to people residing in these Pak occupied territories,” he said. Last month, India had strongly objected to Islamabad’s move to alter the status of the region after Pakistan announced that elections for the legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan would be held on November 15. (ANI)