[splco_heading size=”15″ align=”left” margin=”30″]Gilgit-Baltistan as per wikipedia is part of the greater Kashmir region, which is the subject of a long-running conflict between Pakistan and India. The Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan was told that entire Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India and that Islamabad should immediately vacate the areas under its illegal occupation. [/splco_heading]
But in a recent order, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed the amendment to the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 to conduct the general elections in the region.
Shocked over the developments the MEA said in a statement. “India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’,”
“It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession,” it said.
The MEA said the government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories “illegally and forcibly” occupied by it.
“India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
“Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” it added.
The MEA said Pakistan’s recent actions can neither hide the “illegal occupation” of parts of union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by it nor the “grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom” to the people residing in these areas for the past seven decades.
Gilgit-Baltistan as per wikipedia shares a border with Azad Kashmir, together with which it is referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as “Pakistan administered Kashmir”.
Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of over 72,971 km² (28,174 sq mi) and is highly mountainous. It had an estimated population of 1.8 million in 2015 by Shahid Javed Burki .
Its capital city is Gilgit (population 216,760 est). Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).
Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan. The main tourism activities are trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is growing in importance.