Imran Khan announces provincial status to Kashmir province
Agency: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday his government will give provisional provincial status to a part of Kashmir, drawing condemnation from India, which has long objected to any such changes by Islamabad.
According to Reuters, Khan’s proposal would apply to Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is Pakistan’s only land link to China and lies in the northern part of the larger Kashmir region.
Both Delhi and Islamabad have claimed all of Kashmir since gaining independence 73 years ago, and have fought two wars over the territory.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said Delhi “firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation.”
Last year India angered Pakistan by announcing changes to the status of Kashmir, taking away some of the region’s privileges.
Both sides control parts of Kashmir, which is divided between them by a United Nations-mandated “Line of Control”. UN observers are still stationed in the region.