The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday demarched a senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest against Pakistan Supreme Court's order on the "Gilgit-Baltistan” area which falls under Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The MEA issued an official statement slamming the Imran Khan-led government for continuing with the policy of subjugation of the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region, which is "an integral part of India's Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan's occupation."
"It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession. The Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it," read the MEA's order.
The Pakistan Supreme Court on April 30 allowed the Pakistan Government to amend the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 to conduct the general elections as well as setting up a caretaker government during the interregnum period. Pakistan has reiterated in the SC that all rights to the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan falls with Pakistan, thereby the need to amend the 2018 order to hold fresh elections since the present GB Government's tenure expires in June. However, Gilgit-Baltistan falls under PoK, and Pakistan has absolutely no locus standi in the area.
The MEA has slammed the neighbouring country for its "illegal occupation" of India's territory along with continuing human rights violations in the area. Pakistan has been constantly under fire for trying to forcibly take control over the GB region with a spike in cases of land grabbing since the inception of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In the 43rd session of the UN, Senge H Sering, President of Gilgit-Baltistan Studies called the forcible occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan a "China-led genocide".
"India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation. It was further conveyed that such actions can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of UTs of J&K and Ladakh by Pakistan nor grave human rights violations, exploitation & denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past 7 decades," added the MEA.