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Any move by Pakistan to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province will not be acceptable, Kashmiri separatist leaders said today.
In a joint statement Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said Jammu and Kashmir is a long-standing issue in the international forum, and the world community has agreed to decide its political destiny through resolutions acknowledged by the United Nations.
"Unless and until the people of Jammu and Kashmir are provided an opportunity to decide the future course of the state through referendum, no division, alteration and changes are acceptable," they said.
Rejecting any idea of merger of any part or division of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan, they said "both India and Pakistan have no authority to alter the geographical status of the state."
They also asked Pakistan to show "wisdom" and "desist" from taking any such steps which may hamper the political and geographical position of Jammu and Kashmir.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik also expressed hope that Pakistan Prime minister Nawaz Sharif will fulfil his commitment regarding the geographical entity of Jammu and Kashmir, and will desist from annexing Giglit-Baltistan as the fifth state of Pakistan.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)