India slams Pakistan over plans to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as fifth province

The Gilgit-Baltistan area is Pakistan's northernmost administrative territory that borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Published: 16th March 2017 06:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2017 06:51 PM   |  A+A-

A forward camp of the Indian army in July 1991 at 16 thousand feet (upper part of glacier) and 45 miles up on a 75 mile Siachen Glacier, in Baltistan province, near the Chinese border. (File Photo | AFP)

By ANI

NEW DELHI: With Islamabad planning to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said such a step will not be able to hide the illegality of Pakistan’s occupation of the parts of Jammu and Kashmir which it must vacate forthwith.

Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of India, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said any unilateral attempt from Pakistan’s side will be absolutely unacceptable. 

“Such a step will not be able to hide the illegality of attempt and illegality of Pakistan’s occupation of the parts of Jammu and Kashmir which it must vacate forthwith. It will also not be able to hide the tremendous and very concerning human rights violation and denial of freedom that has been going in those parts under Pakistan’s control for the last 70 years,” Baglay told the media here. 

The MEA spokesperson maintained that India’s position is well known in a matter, which pertains to the country’s sovereignty.

In what may come as a matter of concern for India, Pakistan is planning to declare Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province.

The Gilgit-Baltistan area is Pakistan's northernmost administrative territory that borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

A committee headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recommended to grant the region a provincial status, reports the GeoNews.

Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh are four provinces of Pakistan.

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