New Delhi is against any kind of change in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Jammu and Kashmir which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

India once again rejected Pakistan’s attempt to bring any material change in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Jammu and Kashmir which is under illegal occupation of Islamabad.

“We reject any attempt by Pakistan to bring a material change in this part of Jammu and Kashmir. Such cosmetic exercises are intended to camouflage Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Indian territory,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in weekly media briefing on Thursday.

The MEA spokesperson once again called upon Pakistan to “vacate all Indian territories under its illegal occupation.”

Following the Pakistan Supreme Court’s direction on April 30, the country’s President Arif Alvi on June 28 approved August 18, 2020 as the poll day for general elections to the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.

In altogether 24 constituencies of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistan Election Commission will hold the polls, as per the statement issued by the President House.

The 2018 Gilgit-Baltistan order provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Pakistan Prime Minister to legislate on an array of subjects.

But India’s position on the issue is clear; it is against any kind of change in the region which was illegally occupied by Pakistan.

Last month, India had issued a demarche to the Pakistani diplomat in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the Pakistan Supreme Court’s ruling. In no uncertain terms, Pakistan was reminded by India that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan are an integral part of the country.

India had also categorically stated that the Pakistan government or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.