India slammed Pakistan for holding assembly elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying it was nothing more than an attempt by the country to hide its illegal occupation, and that it has lodged a strong protest with it over the issue. According to Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories, and it should leave all areas it occupies illegally.
‘The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing more than an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes it has made on these territories,’ he said at a media briefing online. In Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, elections for the legislative assembly were conducted days before he made his strong assertion. Allegations of irregularities and violence marred the elections.
The Indian Embassy has protested the polls with the Pakistani authorities, Bagchi said, adding that the local people have also protested and rejected the ‘cosmetic exercise’. It is impossible to mask the fact that Pakistan is occupying these occupied territories legally or hide its grave human rights violations, exploitation and repression of the people.