Pakistan rebuts Indian spokesperson’s statement on Gilgit-Baltistan elections

Pakistan rebuts Indian spokesperson's statement on Gilgit-Baltistan elections

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan has rejected the remarks by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup in which he claimed the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir including the region of Gilgit-Baltistan as an integral part of India.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson strongly opposed the elections in Gilgit-Baltistan scheduled on June 8, saying that the region is an integral part of India.

“India’s position is well known. The entire State of Jammu & Kashmir which includes the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan is an integral part of India,” Vikas Swarup said.

In response, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah in a statement in Islamabad on Wednesday reminded that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute, pending final settlement through a free and impartial plebiscite under the United Nations auspices as enshrined in numerous UN Resolutions.

The spokesman said that under these resolutions no material change is allowed but yet India in complete violation of these Resolutions calls it a state of the union.

Qazi Khalilullah said that said the Indian description of the elections in Gilgit-Baltistan “as an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation of the regions,” is interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan.

The foreign office spokesman said that it is actually India which is unlawfully occupying the territories of Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is actually India which is unlawfully occupying the territories of Jammu and Kashmir. To maintain its illegal hold on that disputed territory, India has deployed over 700,000 of its forces, atrociously tries to suppress majority voice of Kashmiri Muslims and holds sham elections at gun-point,” the spokesman said.

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The spokesman said that dispute stems from India’s constant refusal to implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions which provide for a just solution of the Kashmir issue.

“India’s position on Kashmir is one of utter disregard to the UN Resolutions, a consistent pattern of forceful occupation, denial of the inalienable right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Pakistan and Kashmir are inseparable: General Raheel Sharif

Meanwhile, addressing a ceremony at the National Defense University (NDU) in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition, adding that Pakistan and Kashmir are inseparable.

The army chief said that Pakistan desires just resolution of Kashmir dispute in the light of United Nations resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people for lasting peace and stability in the region.

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