Pakistan slams India’s ‘fake’ protest over Azad Kashmir elections

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Pakistan on Friday criticized what it called India’s “spurious protest” over the elections to the Legislative Council in Azad Kashmir, the Islamabad-controlled part of the disputed Kashmir region.

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The Pakistani Foreign Office said in a statement: “The Indian Chargé d’Affairs has been summoned to express Pakistan’s total rejection of the fake Indian protest.

To reiterate Islamabad’s clear and consistent position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.”

The ministry declared that it “categorically rejects the false and unacceptable (Indian) comments that serve its interests.”

She continued, “India cannot hide the fact that it is illegally occupying parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Horrific human rights violations have been committed against innocent Kashmiris over the past seven decades, especially since August 5, 2019.”

“The people of Azad Kashmir are enjoying the fruits of the free and participatory electoral process, while the people of Jammu and Kashmir (the part under New Delhi’s control of Kashmir) are bleeding under the illegal Indian occupation,” she said.

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And she stressed that the issue of the region “is still an internationally recognized conflict, by Security Council resolutions.”

“The Security Council has clearly defined that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir issue will be by the will of the people through a free and fair referendum to be held under the auspices of the United Nations,” she added.

On Thursday, India protested the holding of elections in Azad Kashmir, which Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi described in press statements as “illegal” elections.

On Sunday, the Azad Kashmir region witnessed elections to select the members of the Legislative Council, which resulted in the victory of the Pakistan “Insaf” Movement (PTI) of which Prime Minister Imran Khan belongs.

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government repealed Article 370 of the constitution guaranteeing self-government in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, dividing it into two regions administered by the federal government.

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In the context of the conflict over Kashmir, Pakistan and India fought 3 wars in 1948, 1965, and 1971, killing about 70,000 people on both sides.