Indian interest in Gilgit

Published: September 28, 2016
Modi’s words weren’t the first thing to make a reference to Gilgit nor were the last.  PHOTO: AFP

Modi’s words weren’t the first thing to make a reference to Gilgit nor were the last. PHOTO: AFP

As the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) progresses, India has placed more focus on Gilgit-Baltistan in an attempt to exploit the undecided constitutional status haunting its people since decades.

This could be the best India could do to a region that according to it is Indian territory forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

One can understand India is deeply upset over the multibillion dollar project which is believed to transform Pakistan’s ailing economy, taking it ahead of India in the long run. And Gilgit is considered a soft target to achieve the goal; derail progress on the project.

Civil, military leaders call New Delhi’s bluff

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech did mention Gilgit — along with Balochistan and Azad Kashmir — and claimed the people from the areas thanked him ‘for raising voice against human rights violations in the territory.’

Whether the people in Gilgit thanked his government or not, it proved India’s heightened interest in the Gilgit region bordering China. Gilgit serves as a gateway to the CPEC as it will pass through about 450 kilometres in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Modi’s words weren’t the first thing to make a reference to Gilgit nor were the last. Many others followed the suit to poke their nose into what they call human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan.

But what was ironic was the role of Indian mainstream media that went a step ahead reporting things that never happened. For example, The Times of India portrayed a video on August 13 of an election rally as a separatist uprising against Pakistan.

The video, originally shared by India-based Asian News International agency, was shared by multiple Indian outlets as evidence of an ongoing separatist movement in which hundreds of arrests have been made. Indian media also picked a shutter down strike as a protest against the presence of Pakistan army in Gilgit.

The distorted story triggered a sharp reaction in Gilgit, forcing Awami Workers Party (AWP) to issue a clarification. “AWP calls on Indian news outlets to retract the baseless stories regarding this rally and adequately investigate the stories they are reporting on, rather than serving as a mouthpiece for government propaganda,” read the AWP’s official statement rejecting the ‘baseless reports.’

Dossier on India’s terror acts on anvil

The video shared was from an election rally as part of the AWP’s campaign for a by-election for the Legislative Assembly.

The distortion of facts dented the credibility of Indian media in the eyes of the public in Pakistan who hitherto trusted it.

While the CPEC appears to offer little for Gilgit, the issue shouldn’t be a headache for a third party, especially India that has unleashed the worst kind of state-sponsored terrorism in held Kashmir.

For us, it is between the federal and Gilgit government to sort out.

But here lies a lesson for the federal government too. If you won’t be sympathetic to your people, someone else will be.

It’s time the federal government took a firm decision about Gilgit’s share in the CPEC and representation in parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Vectra
    Sep 29, 2016 - 8:10AM

    The above all are pure story nothing else but the real reason why India is interested in GB is because it considers entire J&K as it integral part in which GB also comes.That’s it the rest all article are pure story telling nothing elseRecommend

  • Mustafa Kashmiri
    Sep 29, 2016 - 8:21AM

    Before throwing sermons, first China & Pakistan should vacate Gilgit, Baltistan and all of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). China should first abide by International court ruling on South China sea before advising others.

    Indian government should aggressively take steps to get Pakistan and China move out.Recommend

  • Rao Junaid Iqbal
    Sep 29, 2016 - 9:32AM

    Mr Mir your opinion is totally right, as it is duty of Government to give GB its due share otherwise, it will create unease among peaceful and patriots of Gilgit-Baltistan.Recommend

  • Irfan Churbati
    Sep 29, 2016 - 9:43AM

    Well written bro !
    It is very selfish attitude that Pakistan either works on the status of Gilgit-Baltistan just because either it cannot complete CPEC or if a foreign country shows interest in the region. Pakistan should adopt an indigenous policy to solve the socio-political issues of the people living in her territory. The two million people living in the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan deserves an equal status as the rest of the country enjoys.Recommend

  • Amit
    Sep 29, 2016 - 11:06AM

    which is believed to transform Pakistan’s ailing economy, taking it ahead of India in the long run.

    Seriously now people of such intellectual level are writing articles, CPEC will make Pakistan a developed country and it will become as prosperous as western Europe way ahead of India and ahead of China bcoz China is not going to become a developed country beofre pakistan.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Sep 29, 2016 - 11:11AM

    Credibility of indian media? Is there any?Recommend

  • Bilal Khan
    Sep 29, 2016 - 11:31AM

    The CPDR an NGO organised workshop in G-B on the behest of India to fuel the issue. And no action was taken against the NGO and its organizers.

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Sep 29, 2016 - 1:27PM

    The place looks pretty and picturesque . Recommend

  • sixth sense
    Sep 29, 2016 - 1:33PM

    Now intellectuals in Pakistan portray CPEC as the panacia to its ailing economy as if highways didn’t exist in Pakistan before. If growth and prosperity were as simple as constructing cross border highways, all the nations would be developed countries by doing so.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Sep 29, 2016 - 2:47PM

    One can understand India is deeply upset over the multibillion dollar project which is believed to transform Pakistan’s ailing economy, taking it ahead of India in the long run.

    Haha Just like the Thar coal reserves and the water car have transformed Pakistan into the global economic rock star. A lot of hopes from one road to be used for transporting Chinese productsRecommend

  • Vineeth
    Sep 29, 2016 - 5:32PM

    I never knew a Chinese built road and port can take Pakistan’s economy ahead of India’s ! Recommend

  • Insaaf
    Sep 29, 2016 - 6:19PM

    Gilgit is mainly Shia dominated.Recommend

  • Vineeth
    Sep 29, 2016 - 7:47PM

    CPEC is a game changer! It will be the first time in world history where a country becomes a superpower by a port and a stretch of road built by another nation.Recommend

  • Usman
    Feb 21, 2017 - 5:53PM

    @Mustafa Kashmiri: dear Mr. Kashmiri ?? before giving us sermon first answer us what your forces have done to innocent Kashmiris thousands killed and injured blinded by pellets
    we know if you leave Kashmir than you have to give independence to other states also.Recommend

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