New Delhi: India has lodged a strong protest over the announcement of elections in "Gilgit-Baltistan" legislative assembly.

India has asserted that Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that it has seen reports "regarding announcement of elections to the so-called "Gilgit-Baltistan” Legislative Assembly" to be held on 15 November 2020.

"The Government of India has conveyed its strong protest to the Government of Pakistan and reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of so-called Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947," the ministry said.

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"Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it," it added.

The MEA further said that it has also completely rejected the recent actions by Pakistan such as the so-called "Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020” and continued attempts by the Pakistani establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation.

"Action such as these can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades," the ministry said.

"These are cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation," it said.

The MEA also asked Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.