New Delhi: Hitting out at Pakistan for conducting assembly elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), New Delhi lodged a strong protest and said it was nothing but an attempt by the neighbouring country to camouflage its illegal occupation. At a virtual media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi asserted that Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories and it should vacate all areas under its illegal occupation. “The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories,” he stated.Also Read - Delta Globally Dominant Covid Strain, Now Spread To 185 Countries: WHO

When asked about the polls, Bagchi said India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities on this “cosmetic exercise”, which has also been protested and rejected by the local people. “Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people in these occupied territories,” he said. Also Read - Pakistan Minister Blames India For Sabotaging New Zealand Series, Claims Threatening Email Came From Unknown Device

His strong assertion came days after Pakistan conducted elections to the legislative Assembly in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The elections were marred by allegations of irregularities and violence. Last year as well, India had criticised Pakistan’s decision to hold elections in the Legislative Assembly election in occupied Gilgit-Baltistan. New Delhi has maintained that any action to alter the status of the militarily occupied region has no legal basis. Also Read - African Swine Fever Grips Tripura as 28000 Pigs Dead in 11 Districts Since March

What happened in the elections?

Amid allegations of poll rigging by the Opposition, Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party has won 25 of 45 seats in Pakistan occupied Kashmir legislative assembly elections marred by deadly violence. The PoK assembly has a total of 53 members but only 45 are directly elected.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has won 25 general seats of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Legislative Assembly, followed by 11 seats won by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), six by Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) and one each by two regional political parties in Sunday’s polls, as per officially announcement made on Monday, as per Dawn report.