Debunking Pak claim on Gilgit-Baltistan
Pakistan recently declared that the Gilgit-Baltistan area of the Pakistan occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir is its fifth province, knowing full well that Pakistan has no locus standi in that land which is an inalienable part of the Indian State of J & K and Pakistan is in illegal possession of it. India immediately protested to Pakistan and made it clear that no unilateral action by Pakistan can make a patently illegal occupation legal and legitimate. Now the British Parliament has passed a motion condemning Pakistan on this count and declaring Gilgit-Balitstan as legal and constitutional part of Jammu and Kashmir. The motion unequivocally stated that Gilgit-Baltistan is a ‘legal and constitutional part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, India, which is illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947.’ It went on to say that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have been denied their fundamental rights including the right of freedom of expression.
This is a diplomatic victory for India. Pakistan obviously took this fraudulent step to ensure that the $56 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Gilgit-Baltistan is made immune against any future claim by India as a disputed territory. The British Parliament has seen through the game and rejected Pakistan’s move outright. India will now look forward to other countries taking a similar unequivocal stand on Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has refused to vacate its illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir, flouting UN resolution No. 47, adopted on April 21, 1948, asking Pakistan to “withdraw all tribesmen and nationals who entered the region for the purpose of fighting . . .”
India should draw the attention of the world body to Pakistan’s latest attempt at ex post facto legalization of its illegal occupation of a part of India. If Pakistan and China still go ahead with the CPEC they will at least know that what they are doing has no sanction in international law and no unilateral declaration in regard to the territory in question gives Pakistan or China any right over this territory. Some day Pakistan will have to vacate its military occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir and this part will return to India. This may not happen in immediate future but that does not alter the fact of occupation. The Japanese occupation of Sakhalin Island ended during WW II and it returned to Russia (then Soviet Union), ending a centuries-old dispute. The future of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir will be no different.