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Gilgit-Baltistan a part of India says MEA

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Gilgit-Baltistan a part of India, says MEA:


Context:

Pakistan is planning to accord provincial status to the “so-called Gilgit-Baltistan”.

 Latest developments:

  • Pakistan has announced holding elections for the legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan later this month.
  • Pakistan Supreme Court has also allowed Islamabad to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region.
  • The Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Prime Minister of Pakistan to legislate on an array of subjects.

 India’s response:

  • India has termed this move as an attempt to camouflage the “illegal” occupation of the region by Islamabad.
  • India has clarified that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947.

Where is Gilgit Baltistan located?

It borders China in the North, Afghanistan in the west and Kashmir in the south east.

It shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and India considers it as part of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan sees it as a separate from PoK.

Key points:

  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through this region.
  • The region is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).
  • Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Challenges ahead for Pakistan:

  • This would violate the Karachi Agreement — perhaps the only instrument that provides doubtful legal authority to Pakistan’s administration of GB — as well as the UN resolutions that would damage its position on the Kashmir issue.
  • Any such move would also be violative of the 1963 Pak-China Boundary Agreement that calls for the sovereign authority to reopen negotiations with China “after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India” and of the 1972 Simla Agreement that mentions that “neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Gilgit- Baltistan- Location, neighbours and important rivers flowing through.
  2. What is Karachi Agreement related to?
  3. The 1963 Pak- China Boundary Agreement.
  4. 1972 Simla Agreement.
  5. About PoK and CPEC.

Mains Link:

Where is Gilgit- Baltistan? How it came under the control of Pakistan? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.