New Delhi: Reacting strongly to the upcoming elections in Gilgit and Baltistan on June 8, India on Tuesday said it is an attempt by Pakistan to "camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation" of the regions which are integral part of the country.
Official Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup also expressed concern at the "continued efforts" by Pakistan to deny the people of the region their political rights and to absorb these territories.
"India's position is well known. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan is an integral part of India. The election in Gilgit and Baltistan on June 8 under the so called 'Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self Government Order' is an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation of the regions.
"We are concerned at the continued efforts by Pakistan to deny the people of the region their political rights, and the efforts being made to absorb these territories. The fact that a Federal Minister of Pakistan is also the 'Governor of Gilgit Baltistan' speaks for itself," the Spokesperson said.
He noted that "unfortunately, in recent times the people of the region have also become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship due to Pakistan's occupationary policies."