May 2020 News

Pakistan Summons Senior Indian Diplomat Over Gilgit-Baltistan Issue

4 May 2020

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat to convey its rejection of what it called India's 'baseless and fallacious contention' regarding a verdict by Pakistan's Supreme Court on the holding of general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan. The move came hours after India said it has conveyed its strong protest to Pakistan over Islamabad's efforts to bring 'material change' to territories under its 'illegal and forcible' occupation after the country's top court allowed holding of elections in Gilgit-Baltistan. In a recent ruling, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed the government to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region. The Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Prime Minister of Pakistan to legislate on an array of subjects. The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi said on Monday that a demarche was issued to a senior Pakistani diplomat lodging a strong protest over the court ruling and clearly conveying that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India. The MEA said the government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories 'illegally and forcibly' occupied by it. In Islamabad, the Foreign Office said in a statement that a senior Indian diplomat was summoned to convey Pakistan's rejection of India's 'baseless and fallacious' contention against the apex court verdict on Gilgit-Baltistan. It said Pakistan clearly conveyed that the Indian statement over Jammu and Kashmir as an 'integral part' of India' had no legal basis whatsoever'. 'The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is a 'disputed' territory and is recognised as such by the international community,' the FO added.