India has issued a notice to a senior Pakistani diplomat and lodged a strong protest with Pakistan against Supreme Court of Pakistan order on the country's de facto Northern Areas, also known as Gilgit-Baltistan.
"The Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir," stated India's Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.
India reiterated that the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh (which together constituted the state of Jammu and Kashmir until August 2019), including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of India "by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession".
The statement further stated that Pakistan should vacate all the areas of Kashmir under its "illegal occupation".
The reaction from India came following a Pakistan Supreme Court order, issued on Thursday, that allowed its government to hold elections in September this year in Gilit-Baltistan and the setting up of a caretaker government.
Gilgit-Baltistan is the northernmost part of the larger Kashmir region, and has been administered by Pakistan sine 1947. The strategically placed area share borders with India-administered Kashmir, Afghanistan to the north and the Xinjiang region of China to the east and northeast.
Last year, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had said that New Delhi will have physical jurisdiction over Pakistani's side of Kashmir as it is an integral part onf India.
"Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir is part of India and we expect one day that we will have physical jurisdiction over it," S. Jaishankar had said during a media brief in New Delhi.
Usually-tense India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir since gaining independence from the UK and have fought three wars over the issue in last seven decades. The fragile relationship between New Delhi and Islamabad deteriorated when India revoked the statehood and special status of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August and divided the region into two Union Territories under the direct control of the government of India.