ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday dismissed Indian ‘baseless and fallacious contention’ regarding the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict allowing general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, as the two sides summoned each other’s diplomats.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, a senior Indian diplomat was summoned on Monday to convey Pakistan’s rejection of Indian baseless and fallacious contention regarding the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict in a matter pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan.

“It was clearly conveyed that the Indian claim over the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir as an ‘integral part’ of India had no legal basis whatsoever,” she said, adding that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was a ‘disputed’ territory and was recognized as such by the international community.

The dispute, which is the longest outstanding item on the agenda of the UNSC, stemmed from Indian forcible and illegal occupation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 in complete violation of international law and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, she said, adding that no subsequent illegal and unilateral Indian actions could or have altered the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory.

“It was underscored that the only resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was faithful implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions that recognize the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices,” she said.

Farooqui stated that pending the resolution of the dispute, any unilateral Indian actions in IOJ&K were illegal.

In this regard, she added that it was reiterated the Indian unilateral actions of Aug 5, 2019 and subsequent attempts to alter the demographic structure of Jammu and Kashmir, in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, were illegal and in clear violation of the UNSC resolutions.

She said that it was also emphasised that the baseless Indian contention about Gilgit-Baltistan could neither cover up the atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces against innocent, unarmed Kashmiris in IOK, nor could they succeed in diverting the attention of the international community from the Indian state terrorism and aggravating human rights situation in the IoJ&K.

The spokesperson added that the Government of India was called upon to immediately reverse all of its illegal actions in the IOJ&K, including ending illegal occupation of the territory, and let the people of Jammu and Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions.

Reiterating Pakistan’s condemnation of the continuing grave human rights violations by Indian occupation forces in IoJ&K, she added that India was called upon to lift restrictions and communication blackout, release illegally detained Kashmiri youth and incarcerated Kashmiri leadership, and withdraw draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public safety Act (PSA) in the IOJ&K.

Earlier, Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said that the Government of India demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a ‘strong protest’ to Pakistan against the Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the Gilgit-Baltistan.

“It was clearly conveyed that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession,” the Indian MEA stated in a statement.

“Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of J&K,” it added.

On April 30, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed the federal government to amend the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018, to conduct the general elections as well as setting up a caretaker government during the interregnum period.