Pakistan an ‘occupier’, says US group on Gilgit-Baltistan

RSTV Bureau
Prime Minister said the Pak occupied Kashmir is also part of Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Modi at an all-party meeting on Friday. Photo – PTI

In a major boost to India’s stand on  Jammu and Kashmir and its areas occupied by Pakistan, a United States based group representing the interest of the people in Giglit-Baltistan region has described Pakistan an “occupier”. Backing India’s stated position, the US-based group further said that Islamabad’s withdrawal from this part of Jammu and Kashmir would help resolve the Kashmir issue.

“Indian Prime Minister Modi’s policy to highlight human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan is a positive step,” said Senge Sering, director of the Washington DC-based Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress.

Chairing an all-party meet on situation in Kashmir valley on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is also part of Jammu and Kashmir. PM Modi had also blamed Pakistan for the current fragile situation in the valley.

In a statement released on Saturday, Sering said the UN Security Council through its resolutions has declared Pakistan an intruder in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The international community including India and other neighbors of Pakistan must remind Pakistan that it is an occupier in Gilgit-Baltistan and only Pakistan’s withdrawal from Gilgit-Baltistan will help fast track the settlement of dispute over Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan,” he said.

Affirming that Gilgit-Baltistan, the north-western most part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan control, is a disputed area, Senge Sering urged India to help solve dispute.

“Since Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed area, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan should have the right to initiate direct talks with the UN Office representatives, the government of Kashmir in Srinagar and the Indian Union government in Delhi to come up with mechanisms to solve the dispute,” Sering added.

Earlier on Friday, PM Modi flayed Pakistan establishment for the atrocities committed on the people in Balochistan and the areas of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan’s illegal occupation.

The Prime Minister had even asked the Union External Affairs ministry to try to contact citizens of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, living in different parts of the world, to get details of the area’s pitiable condition and share them with the international community.

(With inputs from the PTI)