India on Friday lodged protest with Pakistan over its reform package for Northern Areas and the decision to construct a power plant with Chinese help in the region which is under "illegal occupation" of that country.
Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Rifat Masood was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs where the diplomatic protest letters were handed over to her.
"The government of India protested through diplomatic channels on Friday against the government of Pakistan's so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order-2009'," External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
"The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947. The so-called 'Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order- 2009' is yet another cosmetic exercise intended to camouflage Pakistan's illegal occupation," it said.
The reforms and self-governance package, which was approved on August 29, is seen as a step towards merger of the Northern Areas with Pakistan. Northern Areas, which are part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, have so far been directly ruled by Islamabad.