India protests against Pakistan SC's order on Gilgit Baltistan, suumons DHC
By Smriti | PUBLISHED: 22, Jan 2019, 16:41 pm IST | UPDATED: 22, Jan 2019, 16:44 pm IST
: India lodged a strong protest over an order of the Pakistan Supreme Court on Gilgit-Baltistan, describing it as interference in “India’s internal affairs”.
While giving an order regarding the “constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan”, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that its powers extended to the region. Gilgit-Baltistan is claimed by India as part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year, India had lodged a similar protest after Pakistan’s federal cabinet approved an order that was seen as part of Islamabad’s efforts to incorporate the disputed region as the country’s fifth province. Pakistan has already given Gilgit-Baltistan near provincial status.
Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah was summoned to the external affairs ministry and a “strong protest was lodged on the recent order by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ which is an interference in India’s internal affairs”, an official statement said.
The Indian side reiterated that “the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’, has been, is and shall remain an integral part of India”.
The Pakistan government or judiciary has “no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it” and any action “to alter the status of these occupied territories by Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever”, the statement added.
The statement further said that India has “rejected such continued attempts by Pakistan to bring material change in these occupied territories and camouflage grave human rights violations, exploitation and sufferings of the people living there”. It added, “Pakistan was asked to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”