NEW DELHI: India on Friday summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and lodged a strong protest over the Pakistan Supreme Court's order extending its powers to Gilgit-Baltistan.
"The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned today (Friday) and a strong protest was lodged on recent order by Supreme Court of Pakistan on the so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan' which is an interference in India's internal affairs," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
"It was reiterated that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan' has been, is and shall remain an integral part of India," it stated.
Stating that the Pakistan government or judiciary have no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it, the statement said any action to alter the status of these occupied territories by Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday, while giving a written order regarding the constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan and the grant of fundamental rights to its citizens, ruled that the powers of the top court also extend to the region.
"India rejected such continued attempts by Pakistan to bring material change in these occupied territories and to camouflage grave human rights violations, exploitation and sufferings of the people living there," said the statement.
"Pakistan was asked to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation."