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Valley Kashmiris in UK oppose Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan move

A new organisation of people in Britain tracing their roots to the Kashmir Valley has strongly opposed Pakistan’s plans to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as the country’s fifth province.

world Updated: Apr 27, 2017 18:38 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Gilgit-Baltistan,Pakistan,Valley Kashmiris
A girl holds a Pakistani flag during a rally. (Reuters)

A newly formed organisation in Britain comprising individuals with origins in the Kashmir Valley met Pakistan high commissioner Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Wednesday to oppose Islamabad’s plan to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province.

Kashmir Voice International (KVI), formed in January to highlight the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir to the Western world, told the envoy that Gilgit-Baltistan is an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Any move by Pakistan to integrate it will be a negation of the country’s stand at international level on the Kashmir issue, KVI told Chaudhri. It said that advocating UN resolution for the whole state and choosing to integrate a part of it could notgo together.

According to KVI chairman MA Raina, Pakistan’s plan is likely to encourage India to change the status of Ladakh to that of a union territory. He referred to a recent conference of thousands of people in Ladakh in this connection.

Raina said people from both sides of the Line of Controlwill resist the plan. The Pakistan government should not take any initiative that can weaken the Kashmir issue at theinternational level, a KVI statement said.

According to KVI secretary JavidKakroo, the Kashmiri diaspora in Britain with origins in the valley number nearly 10,000. Another section of the Kashmiri diaspora herehails from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 18:38 IST