After Pakistan’s move to declare Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) as its fifth province, protestors demonstrations have erupted across the region highlighting the intentions of Pakistani.
Pakistan decided to declare the occupied area of Jammu and Kashmir its fifth province in order to facilitate China construct hydroelectric projects and exploit other resources of the area. In a bid to protect its investments, China was reportedly pressurizing Pakistan to regularize the region as its own territory.
Lawyers of Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) came out in strength in Islamabad to protest against the move and they raised slogans against Pakistan. They were carrying placards denouncing the move of Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan and the army.
Countless posts that have appeared on the social media were critical of Pakistan’s move to make GB its fifth province. Pakistan so far has four provinces—Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
People of GB were growing restive ever since Ali Amin Gandapur, Pakistan’s minister for Kashmir and GB affairs, announced about the move to make the area another province. He said that Imran Khan would soon visit the area to make the announcement.
China has already created its footprints in GB and was now trying to make its presence more visible by deciding to construct the world’s highest dam for generating electricity with shareholding of a company of Pakistani army. China was now eyeing the mining and hydel generation capacity of the resource rich GB.
The controversial China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has a major chunk of its route passing through the GB region.
Prof. Sajjad Raja, chairman of the National Equality Party of PoJK, tweeted; “Pakistan is trying to divide our state since 1947, we shall defend J&K”.
A tweet by Al Iskandar said; “Indian Govt initiatives in the UT of J&K and Ladakh have been highly appreciated by the people of Baltistan. Whenever there is a protest in #Baltistan, they march towards the Indian border shouting, ‘Kargil Chalo’…”
It is worth mentioning that election for the 24 constituencies of GB has been announced on 15 November.
Under the influence of China, Pakistan was going ahead with its plans to declare GB its province although India has time and again conveyed to Pakistan that the entire J&K and Ladakh, including GB and other parts under its illegal occupation, are integral part of India by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession.