In statement, Foreign Office spokesperson says Delhi has no locus standi on the issue
Pakistan on Tuesday categorically rejected “unwarranted and irresponsible remarks” from India’s Ministry of External Affairs on upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“India has no locus standi on the issue—legal, moral or historical. The regurgitation of false and fabricated claims by India can neither change the facts nor divert attention from India’s illegal actions and perpetration of the worst human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” read a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri.
Accusing India of perpetrating an “illegal and inhuman occupation” of Jammu and Kashmir for over 72 years, the spokesman said that despite the “incessant brutalization of the Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian occupation forces, the indigenous Kashmiri resistance movement has only become stronger.”
The Indian External Affairs Ministry, in a statement, had earlier conveyed its “strong protest” over elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, claiming Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and GB were “an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947.” It claimed the planned polls were part of an ongoing effort “by the Pakistan establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation,” It added: “We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”
In his rebuttal, Chaudhri turned India’s allegations back on it. “Pakistan calls upon India to immediately end its illegal and forcible occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir and comply with its international obligations by allowing the Kashmiris to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations as enshrined in the relevant UNSC resolutions,” he said.
Ties between Pakistan and India have worsened since Aug. 5, 2019, when Delhi revoked the special constitutional status of India-held Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan maintains that this violates U.N. resolutions, and has repeatedly called on the international community to halt India’s human rights violations in the region.