China rejects Indian statement over GB’s provisional provincial status

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BEIJING: China on Wednesday rejected Indian statement over the provisional provincial status of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

The country also called for a peaceful resolution for the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions, and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to grant the provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan as he arrived in the area to attend its 73rd Independence Day celebrations.

He said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the UN Security Council’s resolutions.

During a regular press briefing, the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: “It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan.”

Responding to a question, he dismissed the impression that China did not have a neutral approach on the issue saying, “I don’t think that is a valid statement.” 

The spokesperson reiterated that China’s position on the Kashmir issue was consistent and clear.

Pakistan has already categorically rejected the “irresponsible and unwarranted” statement regarding Gilgit-Baltistan by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, saying that reforms announced by the government for the region reflect the will of the indigenous population.

“Administrative, political, and economic reforms are a long-standing demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. The envisaged provisional reforms reflect the aspirations of the indigenous populace of Gilgit-Baltistan,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

“India has no locus standi whatsoever on the issue — legal, moral or historical,” the statement added.

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