Pakistan opposition parties have decided to boycott a meeting of the country's parliamentary leaders convened by their National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday to discuss the impending elections in the military occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
The decision to discard the meeting was "officially" announced by Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari following reports that Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had talked to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed plans regarding the newly-formed alliance by the opposition, to oust prime minister Imran Khan, Dawn reported.
"The Speaker NA and the federal ministers have nothing to do with the elections in GB. We condemn the interference of the federal government with elections. My party will only be engaging with the Election Commission GB on our demands for fair elections," Bhutto-Zardari tweeted.
Last week, Pakistan President Arif Alvi had announced that the polls will be conducted on November 15.
This move to change Gilgit Baltistan's status and turning it into province by giving it representation on all constitutional bodies is being seen as a "belated response" to India's moves to nullify Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).
In response to Pakistan's decision to usurp Gilgit Baltistan, India had responded strongly saying 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. Our position has always been clear and consistent. The entire territories of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been and are an integral part of India and would remain so. Pakistan has no locus standi to comment on India's internal matters".