Gilgit-Baltistan poll a cosmetic exercise: India | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gilgit-Baltistan poll a cosmetic exercise: India

delhi Updated: Nov 13, 2009 22:11 IST

IANS
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India on Friday decried the just-concluded polls in the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly the Northern Areas which was renamed by Pakistan a few months ago, as "just another cosmetic exercise intended to camouflage" Islamabad's illegal occupation of areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The elections in Gilgit-Baltistan are just another cosmetic exercise intended to camouflage the fact of Pakistan's illegal occupation of areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters here.

The poll in Gilgit-Baltistan, which India claims as part of its state of Jammu and Kashmir, was held on Thursday amid widespread allegations of fraud.

The elections were held as part of an autonomy package in August announced by Pakistan that sought to integrate the disputed region with the rest of Pakistan by giving more powers to people of the strategic area.

India had protested to Pakistan over renaming of the province and criticised the move as a design to "camouflage Pakistan's illegal occupation" of the area.