Home Asia Pakistan Has No Locus Standi On Territories Illegally and Forcibly Occupied By...

Pakistan Has No Locus Standi On Territories Illegally and Forcibly Occupied By It: MEA

November 2, 2020: India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rejected the recent attempt by Pakistan to accord provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.  MEA spokesperson Mr Anurag Srivastava said India “firmly rejects” the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory which is under “illegal and forcible occupation”. India called upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

The statement came after Pakistan announced holding elections for the legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan. The elections were originally scheduled for August 18 but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 1 announced the granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan. 

During his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan Mr Khan said, “One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status.”

Gilgit-Baltistan has been a subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947. The area is governed by the ‘Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009’, which established an electoral framework.

India also highlighted that such attempts by Pakistan are intended to camouflage its illegal occupation in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. “Such illegal occupation cannot hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan occupied territories,” stated MEA.

“I reiterate that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947,” said MEA in a statement.