Annexing Gilgit-Baltistan would be detrimental to Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir….reports Asian Lite News
Any changes in the status of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) would be detrimental to Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir and would never be acceptable to the Kashmiri people, former Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has said.
“Kashmiris living on either side of the Line of Control (LoC) as well as in Ladakh, Aksai Chin and Gilgit-Baltistan are party to the Kashmir issue along with Pakistan and India,” Khan was quoted as saying in a report by Pakistan Today.
Gilgit-Baltistan formed a part of undivided Jammu and Kashmir till 1947 when Pakistan militarily occupied the region along with Muzaffarabad and other parts of the state now known as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir”.
The Pakistan government is planning to annex Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan as its fifth province.
Khan asserted that the Kashmiri people were the “custodian of the freedom struggle and they would never allow anyone to surrender Kashmir to India”.
Asked if the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), that passes through the region, was a major cause for the Nawaz Sharif government’s plan to annexe the region into Pakistan, he said: “The border agreement between Pakistan and China provided the basis for the CPEC and there was no need to change GB’s status.”
Alleging that Pakistan was “implementing” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda, Khan said: “This effort is aimed at turning Pakistan into a puppet state of India. Perhaps, this is the agenda for which worst rigging was done to help elect Sharif as the Prime Minister.”
Khan, also the president of the All-Pakistan Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference, attacked Sharif and said that “Nawaz Sharif would do disservice to the nation if he took a step that would be detrimental to the Kashmir cause. Any such step would tantamount to violation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir”.
Warning the Pakistan government, Jammu Kashmir People’s Party Chairman Sardar Khalid Ibrahim said the government was ill advised in its plans to go ahead with implementation of the Gilgit-Baltistan committee, and added that it’s haste might damage Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir.
“If Prime Minister Sharif plans to do so, he would have to remove the Articles One and 257 from the constitution. Article 257 doesn’t allow Pakistan to give representation to the people in Gilgit-Baltistan in its constitution,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying.
He, however, pointed out that another agreement which was signed by the Chinese leadership in year 1963 was also a hurdle. “This document also provides that the people of Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir, Leh, AJK, Aksai Chin and GB would vote when a plebiscite is held to decide the fate of Kashmiris,” he added.