India lodges strong protest over Pakistan SC’s order on Gilgit-Baltistan

India on Monday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan for its efforts to bring “material change” in Pakistan-occupied territories in Jammu and Kashmir and asked it to vacate them.

“India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called Gilgit-Baltistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In a recent order, Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed the local administration to hold general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The MEA said, “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.”

“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 said.

“It was further conveyed that such actions can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades,” it added.