Yet again India and Pakistan seem to be having differences of opinions, this time it’s the Gilgit-Baltistan order. Pakistan summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh and issued a demarche over Indian statement which suggested that the entire Jammu & Kashmir, including the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan area, is an integral part of India by the virtue of the 1947 accession.
It started on May 21 when Pakistan Cabinet approved the Gilgit-Baltistan order which was also endorsed by the assembly of the region. Through this order, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seized more authority from the region’s local council in order to deal with its affairs.
After this, India had summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and conveyed that the action of altering the status of any part of the territory under Islamabad’s control was illegal. India also said that Pakistan must vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.
Commenting on this remark, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal said that India’s Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was summoned to register that Pakistan categorically rejected India’s statement over the order and its “baseless, fallacious claim” over Kashmir.
A written demarche was handed over to Mr. Singh suggesting that India’s claims were spurious and belied by the historical facts and morality. The spokesman also added that Pakistan has always acted as a responsible member of the international community and the step has been taken to empower the people of the disputed area.
Basically, Pakistan has bifurcated Jammu & Kashmir into two administrative parts namely Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Until now Gilgit-Baltistan was treated as a separate geographical entity. Interestingly, China’s 50 Billion Dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through this disputed region.
It’s quite clear that Pakistan’s bonding with China is getting stronger while its relations with India are getting sour. Now that Pakistan blatantly denied India’s claims and issued a demarche, it’s time for India to respond. Nonetheless, the relations between the two nations seem to have been damaged beyond repair now.