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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 04 October 2023

Imran Gilgit fuel in fresh Kashmir row

The announcement attracted traction because of Khan’s visit to the area to mark the ‘73rd Independence Day of the region’

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 02.11.20, 12:34 AM
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan File picture

India and Pakistan on Sunday accused each other of having no locus standi to take decisions on the parts of Kashmir held by either side, after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan where he congratulated the people for getting provisional provincial status.

Although this is not a new announcement, it got traction because of Khan’s visit to the area to mark the “73rd Independence Day of the region’’.

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Responding to media queries about Khan’s visit, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava reminded Islamabad that Pakistan has no locus standi on that territory.

“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. I reiterate 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.

“The Government of Pakistan 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. Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”

Pakistan responded in similar vein. “India has no locus standi whatsoever on the issue — legal, moral or historical. For more than 73 years, India has been in illegal and forcible occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Regurgitation of false and fabricated claims by India can neither change the facts nor divert attention from India’s illegal actions and continuing humanitarian crisis resulting from perpetration of the worst human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,’’ the Pakistan foreign ministry said in a statement.

Further, Pakistan claimed that administrative, political and economic reforms have been a long-standing demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, insisting that the envisaged provisional reform reflects the aspirations of the local population.

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