India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said such cosmetic exercises are intended to “camouflage” Islamabad’s “illegal” occupation of Indian territories, The Hindu reported.
As per the reports, last week, Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi approved the election schedule for the GB Legislative Assembly. The assembly was dissolved on the completion of its term on June 24 and, as per the law, elections have to be held within 60 days to elect new members.
According to the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, polls will be held on August 18 this year.
After the Pakistan’s decision of elections, the spokesperson in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Anurag Srivastava said; “We completely reject attempts by Pakistan to bring material changes to the Indian territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Such cosmetic exercises are intended to camouflage Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Indian territories.”
“We call upon Pakistan to vacate all Indian territories that are under their illegal occupation,” he said.
In May, India had issued a demarche to a senior Pakistani diplomat here and lodged a strong protest over the apex court ruling.
The Indian government has also conveyed to Pakistan that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are fundamental parts of India.
Whereas, on Friday Pakistan rejected remarks made by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs regarding elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to the Dawn news, the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said that the only resolution to the Kashmir issue was the “faithful implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions that recognise the inalienable right” of the Kashmiris “through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices”.