Despite protests against the Pakistan government over changing the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday granted the territory a provisional provincial status, according to news reports.
“One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status,” Khan said while speaking during his visit to the area.
The move comes after Saudi Arabia removed Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from the country’s map.
“India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory under its illegal and forcible occupation,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, according to news reports.
India has clearly 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. Gilgit-Baltistan had limited autonomy, and was ruled by the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009.