India objects to Gilgit-Baltistan election

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan for holding elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said the region was an integral part of India.

Responding to a question, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “India’s position is well known. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan is an integral part of India.

“The election in Gilgit and Baltistan on June 8 under the so-called ‘Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self Government Order’ is an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its forcible and illegal occupation of the regions.

“We are concerned at the continued efforts by Pakistan to deny the people of the region their political rights, and the efforts being made to absorb these territories.

“The fact that a federal minister of Pakistan is also the ‘Governor of Gilgit Baltistan’ speaks for itself,” he said.

“Unfortunately, in recent times, the people of the region have also become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship due to Pakistan’s occupationary policies,” the spokesperson added.

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