India has lodged a strong protest against Pakistan over holding of polls in PoK

India on Thursday condemned Pakistan for holding assembly elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and said it was nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation. India has lodged a strong protest against Islamabad over the issue.

“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,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly media briefing.

The MEA Spokesperson said India has lodged a strong protest with 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 the people in these occupied territories,” he added.

In Sunday’s polls in PoK, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 25 seats in the 45-seat assembly.

With regard to reference of Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement of China and Pakistan after their foreign ministers’ meeting, the MEA Spokesperson said, “India

categorically rejects any reference to Jammu and Kashmir in such joint statement the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been and will remain integral and inalienable parts of India.”

“The joint press release has also made a reference to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he added.

“We have consistently conveyed to China and Pakistan that the so called CPEC is in India’s territory, that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan and that we resolutely oppose any attempts by other countries to change the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan as also to Pakistan bringing up any material change in Indian territories under its occupation,” Bagchi added.

“We call upon parties concerned to cease such actions,” he stated further.