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Cosmetic exercise to camouflage Pakistan’s illegal occupation: India on Gilgit-Baltistan election

India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan on its decision to hold an election in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir's Gilgit Baltistan saying that it is a 'cosmetic exercise' to camouflage Pakistan's illegal occupation of the region.

New Delhi: India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan on its decision to hold an election in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Gilgit Baltistan saying that it is a ‘cosmetic exercise’ to camouflage Pakistan’s illegal occupation of the region.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also added that these actions can’t hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades.

While protesting the action, the MEA said, “Action such as these 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 added, “These are cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation.”

Pakistan has announced that election will take place in Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly on November 15 under the recent Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020. The country plans to make the region as its fifth province and hectic political activities are underway.

The MEA also reiterated that the entire “Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of so-called Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947” and “Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it”.

India highlighted how the Pakistan establishment has been trying to bring material changes in areas under “its illegal and forcible occupation” and call upon Pakistan to “immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation”. There are three outsiders for every four in the Pakistan-occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

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