India files protest with Islamabad over Pakistan court order on Gilgit-Baltistan

NEW DELHI: India has conveyed its strong protest to Pakistan over an order from that country's supreme court allowing general elections to be held in.

The Foreign Ministry said Pakistan was told that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the Gilgit and Baltistan areas, are an integral part of India and that Islamabad should vacate the areas under its illegal occupation.

In a recent order, it allowed for the amendment to the Gilgit-Baltistan Government Order of 2018 to conduct general elections in the region.

India unsealed a senior Pakistani diplomat and made a strong protest to Pakistan against the Pakistani Supreme Court order on the so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan', the MEA said in a statement.

It was clearly transmitted that all the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the Gilgit and Baltistan areas, are an integral part of India by virtue of their fully legal and irrevocable accession, he said.

The MEA said that the Pakistani government or its judiciary has no locus standi in the territories occupied illegally and by force.

India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to introduce material changes in the Pakistan-occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Instead, Pakistan should immediately abandon all areas under its illegal occupation, he added.

The MEA said that recent actions by Pakistan cannot hide the illegal occupation of parts of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, nor serious violations of human rights, exploitation and denial of liberty to people residing in these areas for the past seven decades.

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