India opposes move to change Gilgit-Baltistan legal status (Lead)

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New Delhi : India on Thursday voiced strong opposition to Pakistan's reported move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as that country's fifth province.

"We have said that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir has been and will remain a part of India," External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said in response to a question at a media briefing here.

"Any attempt by Pakistan to change the legal status has no basis whatsoever," Kumar said.

"We call upon Pakistan to vacate all occupied territories."

Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of Jammu and Kashmir, but Pakistan illegally occupied it after Partition in 1947.

Islamabad later divided the region into two parts - Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to reports, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a proposal to alter the region's status to that of an interim province in principle.

Published : Thursday, December 06, 2018 23:30 [IST]
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