India Slams Pakistan Bid to Make Disputed Gilgit-Baltistan Area Its Province

Pauline Gross
March 21, 2017

India on Thursday slammed Pakistan's reported attempts to declare Gilgit-Baltistan- also known as the Northern Areas-as Pakistan's fifth province describing the move as illegal and completely unacceptable.

It may be mentioned the people of the region fought their own war against Dogra Raj as the British rule came to an end in 1947.

About the funding of terrorists in J&K by Pakistan, India takes it as a challenge to protect its humans and added Pakistan's continued support for terror groups in J&K is main challenge to protecting human rights of our citizens in the state.

"A part of the territories of our state (Jammu and Kashmir) remain under the forcible and illegal occupation of Pakistan".

The spokesman said Pakistan wanted resolution of all outstanding issues with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute through a "sustainable and result-oriented dialogue" which does not "disrupt or breakdown on flimsy grounds". Political activists and religious persons and students of Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB) who do not comply with ISI's dictation have been framed under anti-Terrorist act of Schedule 4.

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On Wednesday, Pakistan's minister for inter-provincial coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada had said that the Nawaz Sharif government was considering the proposal submitted by Sartaj Aziz committee to make Gilgit-Baltistan the fifth province of the country.

"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", Vikas Swarup, then-spokesperson of the MEA had said, articulating India's opposition to the move. It has a regional assembly and an elected Chief Minister.

"It is unfortunate that in recent times the people of PoK have become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship because of Pakistan's occupation and discriminatory policies", the Indian side said.

Earlier, Baloch political and human rights activists demanded a special rapporteur in the United Nations to probe gross human rights violations in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

It is believed that China's concerns about the unsettled status of Gilgit-Baltistan prompted Pakistan to change its status.

Other reports by GizPress

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