FO rejects Indian claim after Supreme Court ruling on Gilgit-Baltistan polls.


Byline: Baqir Sajjad Syed

ISLAMABAD -- The Foreign Office on Monday summoned an Indian diplomat over Delhi's reaction to the Supreme Court of Pakistan's verdict in a petition relating to polls in Gilgit-Baltistan.

'It was clearly conveyed (to the Indian diplomat) that the Indian claim over the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir as an 'integral part' of India had no legal basis whatsoever,' the FO said in a statement.

The 'disputed' status of Kashmir, the Indian diplomat was told, is recognised by the international community.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had earlier in its reaction to the Supreme Court decision on a petition about upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan summoned a Pakistani diplomat and claimed that 'the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, were an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession'.

The MEA had further contended that the Pakistan government or its judiciary 'has no locus standi' on these territories.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday, while deciding a government petition seeking amendments to the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018, to conduct general elections, allowed holding of polls under the Election Act, 2017, and installation of a caretaker government for this purpose.

The FO reminded that...

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