India has no historical or legal no locus standi on GB, FO respond to Indian defence minister

The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday rejected the statement made by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh regarding Gilgit-Baltistan, stating that Delhi had "no locus standi whatsoever on the issue” whether it be historical, legal, or moral.

A day earlier, the Indian minister had said that GB was an "integral part of India” and had lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement regarding granting the region the status of a province.

“Pakistan has illegally occupied GB. Pakistan is going to make it a province now. Our government has clarified that GB, along with the entire Pakistan occupied Kashmir, is an integral part of India,” Singh had said, according to Hindustan Times.

"Gratuitous repetition of false claims by RSS-BJP leaders for political point-scoring can neither change facts nor can they draw attention away from the reprehensible human rights violations being perpetrated against the Kashmiri people by Indian occupation forces in the valley,” the FO said in a statement issued today.

"Pakistan’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains firmly anchored in the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

"Administrative, political and economic reforms are a long standing demand of the people of GB. The envisaged provisional reforms reflect the aspirations of the indigenous populace of GB,” the FO said.

Pakistan also called upon India to immediately end its illegal and forcible occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

"India must comply with its international obligations by allowing the Kashmiris to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations as enshrined in the relevant UNSC resolutions,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, the FO had categorically rejected a statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs regarding GB and termed it “irresponsible and unwarranted”.

The FO spokesman had issued the statement in response to comments made by his Indian counterpart who had "rejected” the premier’s announcement about granting GB the provisional status of a province.