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India Says Pak Has No Legal Basis to Alter Status of Gilgit Baltistan After it Announces Nov Elections

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Responding to reports, Anurag Srivastava said India's position has always been clear and consistent. "The entire territories of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and are an integral part of India and would remain so. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters," he reiterated.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Thursday that any action by Pakistan to alter the status of the military occupied "so-called Gilgit-Baltistan" has no legal basis and is completely void. Pakistan had earlier in the day announced that legislative elections would be held in the region on November 15.

A statement issued by Pakistan President Arif Alvi said he was pleased to announce general elections to the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Legislative Assembly would be held on November 15.

Responding to reports, Srivastava said India's position has always been clear and consistent. "The entire territories of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and are an integral part of India and would remain so. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters," he reiterated.

India has previously maintained the Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. The polls in Gilgit-Baltistan were to be held on August 18, but the Election Commission on July 11 postponed them due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The MEA also hit out at the country on Thursday for raising Kashmir issues at a virtual meeting of multilateral grouping CICA. In a sharp reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan has misused another forum by continuing its "spurious narrative" about India.

It said Pakistan is the "global epicentre" of terrorism and continues to be the source of terrorist activities in India. "We advise Pakistan to cease its sponsorship and overt and covert support to terrorism against India. This will enable the two countries to engage and address issues bilaterally rather than distract this important forum from its agenda," the MEA said.


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