New Delhi: India on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah over Islamabad’s so-called Gilgit-Baltistan order and conveyed that any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under Islamabad’s control had no legal basis.
In a statement, the Indian foreign ministry said that it had conveyed to Shah that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ areas, is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession to India in 1947.
The Indian statement comes days after Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, through the Gilgit Baltistan order on 21 May, seized more authority from the region’s local council to deal with its affairs. Civil rights groups in Pakistan have criticised the order, a PTI report said on Sunday.
“Any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under forcible and illegal occupation of Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever, and is completely unacceptable. Instead of seeking to alter the status of the occupied territories, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation," the Indian foreign ministry statement said.
The ministry said it has also conveyed to the Pakistani deputy envoy that such actions can “neither hide the illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan, nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan-occupied territories."