India protests Pak SC order on polls in Gilgit-Baltistan

NEW DELHI: After a Pakistan Supreme Court ruling allowing holding of elections in , India Monday hit back against efforts to, as it said, bring material change in territories illegally occupied by Pakistan and asked it to vacate the same.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that it had demarched a senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest with Pakistan against its Supreme Court order.

`` It was clearly transmitted that all of Jammu&andladakh,includingthegilgitandareas,areanintegralpartofindiabyvirtueoftheirfullylegalandirrevocableaccession.thegovernmentofpakistanoritsjudiciaryhasnolocusstandionterritoriesillegallyandforciblyoccupiedbyit,’’saidthemea.

indiaalsocompletelyrejectedsuchactionsandcontinuedattemptstobringmaterialchangesinpakistanoccupiedareasoftheindianterritoryofjammu& Kashmir. ``Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,’’ it added.

The government also conveyed to the Pakistan i diplomat 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 said India ’s position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus which emphasised that “Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India , and that Pakistan must vacate parts of the same under its occupation’’.

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.

Later on Monday, Pakistan responded by summoning a senior India n diplomat in Islamabad to convey its rejection of what it called India ''s "baseless and fallacious contention" regarding the order.