New Delhi: Days after the elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India hit out at its neighbour calling it a cosmetic exercise rejected by the local people.
Addressing media on Thursday (July 29), Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the elections were an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation.
“The so-called elections in Indian territory, under illegal occupation of Pakistan, are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation &the material changes undertaken by it in these territories,” Bagchi said.
“India has lodged a strong protest with Pak authorities on this cosmetic exercise protested and rejected by local people. Such exercise can neither hide illegal occupation by Pakistan nor grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to people in occupied territories,” he added.
Bagchi further said that Pakistan has no locus standi on the Indian territories and called asked it “to vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation”.
Earlier this week, amid allegations of poll rigging by the Opposition, Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party won 25 of 45 seats in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir legislative assembly elections.
An open revolt was reportedly witnessed in PoK as thousands of demonstrators hit the streets to protest against the Pakistan army after reports of election manipulation.
Earlier, Prime Minister of PoK Raja Farooq Haider in a statement said, “The assembly elections were nothing but a farce exercise to hoodwink the people.”
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