Pakistan Foreign Office responds over media reports of AJK merger with mainland Pakistan

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Pakistan Foreign Office responds over media reports of AJK merger with mainland Pakistan

*ISLAMABAD: *Islamabad has ruled out any plan to merge Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) with rest of the country in response to New Delhi’s illegal and unconstitutional annexation of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK) in August last year.

“There is no such proposal under consideration [to merge AJK],” Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui told reporters at a weekly briefing on Thursday. She was asked to comment on some reports that at a recent high-level meeting, a proposal was taken up to merge the AJK with Pakistan.

India on August 5, 2019 illegally annexed the occupied part of the disputed Himalayan region by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution that gave special status to the IOK.

Pakistan lodged a strong protest against what it described as an illegal and unilateral action and moved the United Nations, whose Security Council (UNSC) has taken up the issue twice in the last 5 months.

Since August 5, IOK has been under a lockdown with thousands of political leaders and workers under detention.

Despite widespread condemnation of the Indian move the world over, New Delhi is not lifting restrictions imposed on more than 8 million Kashmiris.

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