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India has said that Pakistan has no legal basis to convert Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s Gilgit-Baltistan region as its 5th province and the action will be “void ab initio”. 

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in response to a WION question said, “Any action by Pakistan to alter the status of the militarily occupied so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” has no legal basis whatsoever and is totally void ab-initio.”

Reiterating its “clear and consistent” position on PoK, MEA said, “The entire territories of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and are an integral part of India and would remain so. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters.”

Pakistan has announced it will conduct elections in PoK’s Gilgit-Baltistan area in November. 

Hectic political activity is taking place in Pakistan over plans to make the area the country’s 5th province, other 4 being–Punjab, the most populated, Balochistan, the largest one, khyber Pakhtunkhwa bordering Afghanistan and southern Sindh province. 

Earlier this week, the Pakistani Army Chief Javed Bajwa and ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed had a meeting with opposition parties over the issue.

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