The Ministry of External Affairs has stated Pakistan’s attempt to bring material change to a part of the Indian Territory. On Sunday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran khan officially announced the ‘provincial status’ of Gilgit-Baltistan. He claimed that the decision was taken while “keeping in mind the UN Security Council’s resolution.”
Please see our statement on Pakistan Government’s decision to accord “provisional provincial status” to the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” : pic.twitter.com/8XzPT0aSFH— Anurag Srivastava (@MEAIndia) November 1, 2020
Anurag Srivastava, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said, “The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian Territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation. I reiterate that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the union of India in 1947.”
The statement further added that the Government of Pakistan has no right on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. “Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its illegal occupation, cannot hide the grave human rights violation, exploitation and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan occupied territories. Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”
Pakistan announced ‘provincial status’ of Gilgit-Baltistan
On Sunday, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, officially announced the provincial status of Gilgit-Baltistan. During the announcement, Khan claimed that a provincial status for the area was a longstanding demand of Gilgit-Baltistan residents. He further added that as there will be elections in the area very soon, he did not announce any packages.
An attempt to facilitate China’s ambitious initiative
Pakistan’s unprecedented step to announce provincial status for illegally occupied Indian Territory is being seen as an attempt to facilitate China’s ambitious CPEC. In September, reports suggested that the political dispensation, which is hands-in-gloves with the Army, has given the nod to alter the so-called ‘autonomy’ of the region. The decision will primarily benefit China and its China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Pakistan is under billions worth debt for CPEC. As Pakistan has announced the area as its province, China can build an alternate road to the Malacca Strait, the primary shipping channel between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Pakistan had deployed army personnel in the occupied Territory of Gilgit-Baltistan to silence the discontentment about CPEC. People in Gilgit Baltistan have raised objections on how China’s initiative can destroy the environment and the local culture.