Entire state of J&K belongs to India: MEA

Pakistan recently declared Gilgit-Baltistan 5th province

Entire state of J&K belongs to India: MEA

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that India has strongly protested Pakistan’s recent move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province.

Sushma said her ministry has already issued a statement declaring Islamabad’s move as illegal.

She said that it was made clear that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), including the areas under illegal occupation of Pakistan, belonged to India.

The minister made the statement after Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab raised the issue in the Lower House and sought to know how the Centre has responded to such a move by Pakistan.

Sushma recalled that Parliament had unanimously resolved that the entire state of J&K belonged to India. She noted that J&K was also at the core of principles of the ruling BJP, for which party ideologue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had sacrificed his life.

Mahtab later suggested that the government take an initiative to pass a resolution in the Lok Sabha countering Pakistan’s move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as a new province.

New Delhi had on March 16 pointed out that Gilgit-Baltistan region is part of Indian territory that Pakistan was occupying illegally.

“The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. It has been, is and will always be an integral part of India. A part of Jammu and Kashmir has been under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

“Any unilateral step by Pakistan to alter the status of that part will have no basis in law and will be completely unacceptable,” Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, had earlier stated.

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