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ISLAMABAD: Rejecting Indian protests against the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Order 2018 and its claim over India-held Kashmir (IHK), Pakistan on Sunday said that baseless Indian propaganda about GB could not cover up the atrocities being perpetrated by Indian forces against innocent and unarmed Kashmiris, nor could it succeed in diverting the attention of the international community from the deplorable situation in India-held Kashmir.

“The government of Pakistan categorically rejects India’s protest against the Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 and its claim over the Indian occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir as an ‘integral part’ of India,” read a statement issued by Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal on Sunday.

The statement said that everything from history to law to morality to the situation on the ground belies India’s spurious claim.

Dr Faisal claimed that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was a “disputed” territory. He said that the disputed status was enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, which stipulated that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir would be determined through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite administered by the UN.

These resolutions, he said, pledging the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir, were accepted by India, Pakistan and the international community.

“Instead of making frivolous protests and issuing legally untenable and uncalled for statements, India should take steps to vacate its illegal occupation and create the conditions for faithful implementation of the UNSC resolutions, so that this long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan is peacefully resolved in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people,” said the FO.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2018

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