Terming the elections in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as a cosmetic exercise to camouflage illegal occupation, India has lodged a protest with Pakistani authorities and has asked to vacate the territory illegally occupied by it.
During a regular media briefing on Thursday, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi informed that the exercise of so-called elections has been protested and rejected by the local people.
“Let me make very clear. The so-called elections in Indian territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories,” he said.
Huge protests and rigging were reported in recently held elections in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Imran Khan’s PTI has won the majority by bagging 25 seats in the so-called elections.
India has totally rejected the exercise in the occupied territory and said Pakistan has no local standi on the issue.
The MEA spokesperson said the cosmetic exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations.
“India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities on this cosmetic exercise, which has been protested and rejected by the local people. Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom to people in these occupied territories. Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories,” he said.
“We call upon Pakistan to vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation,” he added.
Many locals have reportedly been injured and widespread manipulation has been carried out by Pakistan’s ruling party. Locals have held huge protests against elections conducted by Pakistan on July 25.
(With ANI inputs)