Any move by Pakistan to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province will not be acceptable, Kashmiri separatist leaders said on Friday.
In a joint statement Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said Jammu and Kashmir is a long-standing issue in the international forum, and the world community has agreed to decide its political destiny through resolutions acknowledged by the United Nations.
"Unless and until the people of Jammu and Kashmir are provided with an opportunity to decide the future course of the state through a referendum, no division, alteration and changes are acceptable," they said.
SAS Geelani, Mirwaiz Farooq & Yasin Malik issue joint statement against any proposal to make Gilgit Baltistan 5th state of Pakistan pic.twitter.com/nH2SGe1pjt— ANI (@ANI_news) March 17, 2017
Rejecting any idea of merger of any part or division ofJammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan, they said: "both India and Pakistan have no authority to alter the geographical status of the state."
They also asked Pakistan to show "wisdom" and "desist" from taking any such steps which may hamper the political and geographical position of Jammu and Kashmir.
Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik also expressed hope thatPakistan Prime minister Nawaz Sharif will fulfil his commitment regarding the geographical entity of Jammu and Kashmir, and will desist from annexing Giglit-Baltistan as the fifth state of Pakistan.