J K News Today

Srinagar, September 23:

At a time when Pakistani leadership is squabbling and  some voices have advised the parties to bring the situation to the point where their country lost its east wing 59 years ago, Islamabad under the influence of China is  going ahead with making  Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province. This is doom scenario for the 12.5 lakh people  of the region inhabiting over 72,000 sq. kms .

This is intriguing  not only because it is violative of the international  laws that prohibits Pakistan from making any changes in the occupied territories  of Jammu and Kashmir that includes Gilgit-Baltistan . The history is very clear : Gilgit Baltistan was part of  the state of Jammu and Kashmir that Maharaja Hari Singh  , the last Dogra king of the state , acceded to India  in October 1947  after Pakistan army  baked tribesmen invaded the state.

So, legally, Gilgit-Baltistan  is part of Jammu and Kashmir that was split into two union territories by Delhi on August 5 last year to fulfil the  aspirations of the people of Ladakh.  And, as a natural sequel it is part of the UT of Ladakh now.

This proposed decision of making Gilgit- Baltistan  a state – the fifth province of Pakistan,-   is to further subjugate the already suppressed and oppressed people of the region  . Their voices have been stifled and many of the human rights and social activists have disappeared and there is no trace of them.  These activists were protesting against the Pakistan military’s role in treating them as slaves  and helping China and Chinese companies to take over natura; resources of the region.

Pakistan has been encouraged by  China to go in for this misadventure in complete disregard to the urges and aspirations of the people of GB. Islamabad  is more than keen to bow to wishes of  Beijing  because the much-hyped multi-billion dollar  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ( CPEC)  has become a milking cow for Pakistan army. The revelations about  the overseas properties running into millions of dollars involving  CPEC chairman Lt. Gen.( retired) Asim Bajwa have confirmed this .

Chinese need Pakistan to do it because they want full control of the region and no legal hassles at the international level to  the CPEC that is part of  One Belt  Road initiative of China.  CPEC  passes through Gilgit-Baltistan , and India has raised its concerns on the legal grounds , citing the instrument of accession and its contents that clearly state that GB is part of India. Both Pakistan and China , and their CPEC constitute a violation of the Indian sovereignty .

The people of Pakistan also are opposed to the project and its direct control by Pakistan. They know that once that is done, they will have to struggle , which, they, in any case, are already doing, for the basic  needs. Their culture has been trampled upon , they are getting outnumbered by Chinese and Pakistanis , and ultimately by making them part of  Pakistan , the identity of the unique identity of the original residents would be lost for ever.