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Gilgit-Baltistan order: India summons Pakistan's Deputy envoy, registers strong protest

By Vikas

Taking a strong exception to Pakistan government's recent order to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, India on Sunday summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and told him that any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under his country's forcible occupation has no legal basis. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also asserted that entire Jammu and Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan areas, was an integral part of India.

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The Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018, which essentially seizes the powers of the Gilgit Baltistan Council and entrusts the Prime Minister of Pakistan with indisputable authorities vis-a-vis Gilgit-Baltistan, was officially promulgated on May 21.

"Any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under the 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 MEA statement said.

The MEA statement said the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan to India was summoned and a strong protest was made against Pakistan's so-called "Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018". Through its order on Gilgit-Baltistan on May 21, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seized more authority from the local council to deal with the affairs of the region. Civil rights groups in Pakistan have criticised the order.

"Government of India's consistent position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus," the statement said.

Pakistan had been planning to integrate this area to make it easier for China's CPECcorridor to pass through it. India remains opposed to China's corridor because of the sovereignty aspect. India maintains that any possible attempt by Pakistan to declare the Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, as the fifth province is "entirely unacceptable", reported TOI.

The Ministry said it was also conveyed to the Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner that such actions can neither hide the "illegal occupation" of part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir nor the "grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom" to the people residing in Pakistan-occupied territories for the past seven decades.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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