K-P, G-B jostle to build road to Tajikistan

G-B irked after a feasibility survey of the route was conducted in Chitral.

Shabbir Mir December 09, 2011


In what appears to be yet another blow to the already precarious ties between the adjoining regions, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has successfully undertaken an extensive feasibility survey of the proposed route linking Pakistan to Tajikistan — originally meant for Gilgit-Baltistan.

The route was earlier proposed to be built from G-B’s Ashkomen Valley to Tajikistan during former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime. However, the federal government – after President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to Tajikistan in September – altered the original plan and announced that Pakistan would be linked to Tajikistan via Chitral (K-P) — the decision has drawn strong criticism from the political leadership of G-B. Leaders in Gilgit believe it was a discriminatory ploy against the region. “A survey of the Tajikistan Road from Chitral to the Afghan border has been completed and according to the results of the survey, the Lotkoh valley of Chitral has been declared as the most feasible, suitable and safest place for the proposed project,” K-P Minister for Population Welfare Saleem Khan was quoted as saying in Chitral.

K-P and G-B are already at loggerheads on two fronts – the Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Shandur area – since both the regions blame each other for encroaching. In Gilgit, a senior legislator said that K-P was taking undue benefit of its presence in parliament. “This isn’t the first instance that K-P has tried to rob G-B of its rights,” he said.

Experts believe that as G-B struggles to protect the Diamer-Bhasha Dam from K-P’s encroachment, the Tajikistan project is also slipping away from its hands.

They are of the view that the government should adhere to the original plan in which the route had to originate from the Ashkoman Valley in District Ghizer to Tajikistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2011.


MirMajid | 11 years ago | Reply

Good work done sir...this is how you can address the problems of already hard stricken backward area of Gilgit-Baltistan

Sachal Sarmast | 11 years ago | Reply

Do not quarrel. There could be both routes developed, for not only both GB and KP will benefit immensely but whole Pakistan will get a boost. Such an access towards CARs, Russia and other countries in the region will be new version of old Silk route. GB in near future is going to gain much from a new Chinese project on its borders. China is going to develop its bordering area of Sinkiang (xingiang) region along its whole length including Pakistan to Kazakhstan like its eastern coastal region. We This project might be completed within next 4-5 years. We can have then dinner in Urumqi. So be patient and develop persistent pressure so that feasibility reports do not land in cold storage rather construction work is expedited and completed within next 24 months- Chinese style.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read