Islamabad- Pakistan has decided to elevate Gilgit-Baltistan’s status to that of a full-fledged province, a Pakistani media report on Thursday quoted a senior minister as saying.
According to a report in the Express Tribune, Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs, Ali Amin Gandapur, on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit the region and make the formal announcement to elevate Gilgit-Baltistan to the status of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights.
Gandapur said Gilgit-Baltistan would be given adequate representation on all constitutional bodies, including the National Assembly and the Senate.
After consultation with all stakeholders, the federal government has decided in principle to give constitutional rights to Gilgit-Baltistan, the minister told reporters.
India has conveyed to Pakistan that “the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession.”
India has said “the 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 (Controlled) areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in May while protesting Islamabad’s efforts to bring material change in Pakistan controlled territories.
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