As Pakistan announced its plan to capture Gilgit Baltistan, several activists have objected the move, accusing Islamabad of joining forces with China to bring the illegally occupied region as its fifth province. One such activist, Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza from Pakistan occupied Kashmir raised the matter during the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“Pakistan is attempting to illegally make Gilgit Baltistan her fifth province. On October 31, 1947, Pakistan instigated a coup d’etat in Gilgit agency with the collaboration of British officers of Gilgit scouts and occupied Gilgit Agency. By attacking the state of Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Agency, Pakistan has committed a war of aggression, crime against peace and crime against humanity, all I wish tend to amount to war crimes,” Dr Mirza said.
The European Foundation for South Asian Studies perceived the decision as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s delayed response to India’s abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. The decision to capture Gilgit Baltistan could only have been made in Rawalpindi, not in Islamabad, it said.
“More importantly, however, it is the constant Chinese pressure on the military establishment to ensure a proper legal cover under Pakistan’s legal jurisdiction for its investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which enters Pakistan from China through Gilgit Baltistan, that has forced the establishment to act,” the European think tank argued.
Recently, Pakistan Minister Ali Amin Gandapur said that the government has decided to raise the status of Gilgit-Baltistan to a complete province. He said that PM Imran Khan would soon visit the region and make a formal announcement in this regard.
India responds to Pakistan’s claim over Gilgit Baltistan
In a sharp response to Pakistan’s decision to usurp Gilgit Baltistan, India said Islamabad has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it and Government of India completely rejects the recent actions such as the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020” and continued attempts by the Pakistan establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation.
“Action such as these can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades. These are cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.
(With inputs from agency)
(Image credits: AP)