In a move that is likely to draw sharp response from New Delhi, the imran Khan-led Pakistan government has announced provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan.

The announcement comes even as protests continue in the region against the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army and the Federal government. 

The Pakistan Army's excesses in Gilgit Baltistan have resulted in innumerable human rights violations.

However, Imran Khan continues to live in denial.

On Sunday, during a visit to Gilgit Baltistan, Imran said: "One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status." 

Responding to Pakistan's latest provocative act, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement: "The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation."

"I reiterate that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan', are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947. The Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it," Anurag said.

"Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation." he added.

Islamabad's decision comes amid Saudi Arabia's recent move removing Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan from Pakistan’s map. 

India considers Gilgit and Baltistan as part of the undivided Jammu and Kashmir. Its new political map published in November 2019 depicts the UTs of J&K and Ladakh consist of Gilgit-Baltistan 

India has time and again reminded Imran Khan that "any action by Pakistan to alter the status of the militarily occupied so-called Gilgit-Baltistan has no legal basis whatsoever and is totally void ab-initio."