Kashmiri separatists unite against Gilgit-Baltistan
Amidst uncertainty in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) region, Kashmiri separatist leaders united against Pakistan’s move to turn Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Hurriyat (G), and Moderate Hurriyat have strongly criticized the Islamabad’s move. Interestingly, pro-Kashmiri separatist leaders and Pro-Pakistani separatist leaders have shared a similar opinion in the issue, and firmly attacked the Pakistani government. Some leaders claim that the Islamabad’s move would prompt the Indian forces to recapture the disputed Ladakh region. Pakistan cannot effectively counter any such action by the Indian government because the Islamabad’s move would put the country in a defenceless state before the world powers, leaders added. It is learned that China is virtually backing the Islamabad’s efforts to merge the disputed region into the country. It seems that the ailing economy of the Chinese government is eyeing at an economical gain through this move. According to reports, Chinese government is planning to develop the infrastructure of the region, particularly the road connectivity. If the project is successfully completed, then China can easily transport their cargo to the Gulf region. Currently, the Gulf-China cargo transport will take at least sixteen to twenty-five days. The proposed route through the disputed region could cut down the transportation days to two, which will certainly deliver a big economic benefit to Beijing. However, the dreams won’t come true unless the Indian government give a positive node to the proposed economic corridors through Gilgit-Baltistan. Tehelka quoted as Vikas Swarup, foreign ministry spokesmen, as saying; the Jammu and Kashmir and the POK is an integral part of the Indian main land. He virtually indicates that the country won’t allow any activities in the POK region. Earlier, in 2009, through a Self-Governing order, Gilgit-Baltistan got a local government that provided identity to the region. However, the unusual union of the separatist leaders may pave the way for a new powerful movement in the Jammu and Kashmir state.
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