Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday rejected India's protests over Islamabad's latest move relating to administrative authority over the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Pakistan Cabinet recently approved Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 which was also endorsed by the Assembly for the region. Through its order on Gilgit-Baltistan on 21 May, Pakistan's 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.
The order is seen as Islamabad's efforts towards incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province.
India on Sunday summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad's latest move, saying any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under its "forcible and illegal occupation" has no legal basis.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it conveyed to Shah that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan' areas, is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman in a statement claimed that the "Jammu and Kashmir was disputed territory".
"Pakistan categorically rejects India's protest against the Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 and its claim over Jammu and Kashmir as an 'integral part' of India. Everything from history to law to morality to the situation on the ground belies India's spurious claim,” the spokesman said.
"These resolutions, pledging the right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir, were accepted by India, Pakistan and the international community," he said.
Updated Date: May 28, 2018 09:14:12 IST