India has said that any efforts to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan region will not be acceptable, an official said in New Delhi.
“Any unilateral step by Pakistan to alter the status of that part will have no basis in law and will be completely unacceptable,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
He was replying to a question regarding Pakistan’s plan to make Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province.
Reiterating India’s stand on the Jammu and Kashmir, Baglay said: “The position of the government on Jammu and Kashmir is consistent and well known. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947.”
“It has been, is and will always be an integral part of India. A part of Jammu and Kashmir has been under illegal occupation of Pakistan.”
Calling the move a violation of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore Declaration of 1999, he said: “I must also say that such a step will not camouflage the illegality of Pakistan’s occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir and the gravely concerning and serious human rights violations there, as well as denial of democracy to the people there.”
A committee headed by Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz had proposed to make Gilgit-Baltistan, the region north of the Line of Control in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir, fifth province.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through the region and it is strategically crucial for India as it connects China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.