India firmly asks Pakistan to vacate Gilgit-Baltistan
New Delhi : The India on Saturday criticized Pakistan's move to declare Indian-territory of Gilgit-Baltistan as its provisional fifth province. The Centre alleged Pakistan of 'forcibly occupying' Gilgit-Baltistan and asked them to immediately vacate the land.
"The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation," a statement issued in New Delhi by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
The government reiterated 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.
Srivastava said that the Pakistan government has “no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied” by it. Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its 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, he added.
The spokesperson also mentioned that instead of finding an alternative solution to the problem, the Indian government has straight away asked Pakistan to vacate the land.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his government has decided to grant the “provisional-provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947.