In a new development, India asks Pakistan to vacate Kashmir
NEW DELHI - Days after Pakistan passed the Amendment to “Azad Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Act 2018", India on Monday put forward a strong-worded statement protesting against it. Lodging a "strong protest", India asked its neighbour nation to vacate all areas it occupies in Kashmir.
"The government of India has conveyed a strong protest through diplomatic channel today against the `Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution (13th Amendment) Act 2018`. It was clearly conveyed that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the `Azad Jammu and Kashmir` is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
"Any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under forcible and illegal occupation of Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever, and is completely unacceptable. Instead of seeking to alter the status of the occupied territories, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation," said the statement.
On Friday, June 1, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-dominated joint sitting of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Council approved the amendments to the AJK Constitution.
Through its order on Gilgit-Baltistan on May 21, former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seized more authority from the local council to deal with the affairs of the region. India has strongly protested against Islamabad's move relating to administrative authority over the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
New Delhi in April 2018 had summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah over the same and said that any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under its "forcible and illegal occupation" has no legal basis.
The Azad Kashmir has its own President and Prime Minister.