Massive protest carried out by locals of Gilgit against ‘NaPak CPEC project’
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 30-Jul-2017

Hunja, July 30: The NaPak activities of Pakistani rulers with China have left more than half of the country to fire. As soon as the days are passing, more the locals are coming on the roads against Pakistani government over China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Notably, a massive protest was held by locals in Gilgit-Baltistan against CPEC project fearing it will create a huge ecological imbalance.

The huge amount of locals took to the streets protesting against China and CPEC which passes through Gilgit, fearing it will create an ecological imbalance. Locals came together and took out a march raising slogans portraying an elevation in resentment over the situation.

Interestingly, CPEC which is a part of China's broader One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) initiative is widely hailed in Pakistan as a game-changer that is destined to bring considerable economic benefits. But this project will harm ecological system in nearby areas extensively and locals will not get any advantage by CPEC.

Not only Gilgit-Baltistan but Balochistan and Sindhudesh have raised its voice against Pakistan’s apathy towards them and against CPEC project. The three territories are asking for its independence since many years. In the mid month of July, locals of Sindhudesh came on the streets and protested against CPEC, extremism, religious terrorism, Pakistan’s worst rule and carried the demand for independence.

Earlier, Lawyers of Gilgit region carrying mass strike over Pakistan's illegal move demanded the amendment to the POK interim Constitution Act 1974. Lawyers during protests alleged that Pakistan is selling off a part of Kashmir to China just like it gave it the area of Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley. Lawyers called it a dark move by the Pak government to use the land for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Importantly, earlier Pakistan has already handed over Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley to China. Recently, in a bid to accommodate the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a joint project between the two countries that pass through the occupied territories, Islamabad had proposed to integrate Gilgit-Baltistan as a main province of the country.

On the other side, Pakistan was planning to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as the fifth province which actually was an integral part of India. But Indian government and locals in Gilgit-Baltistan registered a strong protest against Pakistan’s illegal move due to which they have to back off from their decision.

BACKGROUND:

Earlier, Gilgit-Baltistan was treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. However, it has regional assembly and an elected Chief Minister.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a legitimate part of Jammu and Kashmir when the accession document was signed by Raja Hari Singh in 1947. But the betrayal of some British officers and raised communal sentiments hijacked the Gilgit-Baltistan at that time. The map of Jammu and Kashmir features the area as part of India.

In 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to China in a 1963 border agreement. The area is significant to both Pakistan and China as the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the region. Interestingly, it is also believed that due to China’s pressure Pakistan is planning to declare Gilgit-Baltistan its 5th Province.

The Gilgit-Baltistan occupied by Pakistan covers 85,793 sq km and is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. It has a regional assembly and an elected chief minister. The area was divided in 1970 into two: Mirpur-Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and the Federally Administered Gilgit-Baltistan.