New Delhi: India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for holding assembly elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) saying it was nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and that it has lodged a strong protest with that country over the issue.
At a media briefing on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi asserted that Pakistan has no locus standi on Indian territories and it should vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.
“The so-called elections in Indian territory under the 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.
The MEA’s statement came days after Pakistan conducted elections to the legislative Assembly in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The elections were marred by allegations of irregularities and violence.
Bagchi called the polls a “cosmetic exercise” and said India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities. “Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people in these occupied territories,” he said.
India has totally rejected the exercise in the occupied territory and said the election process was rejected by the local people. Reportedly, the locals held huge protests against the elections conducted by Pakistan on July 25. Imran Khan’s PTI won a majority 25 seats in the so-called elections.