Pakistan to give Gilgit-Baltistan status of full-fledged province? What is India's response?
Gilgit-Baltistan would be given adequate representation in all of Pakistan's constitutional bodies, including the National Assembly and the Senate.
Pakistan has decided to elevate the status of Gilgit Baltistan to a full-fledged province. This was reported by Pakistani media on September 17, 2020.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit the region soon and make the formal announcement to elevate Gilgit-Baltistan to the status of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights.
Following the elevation in status, Gilgit-Baltistan would be given adequate representation on all constitutional bodies, including the National Assembly and the Senate.
• India had earlier clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territory including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan form an integral part of India by virtue of its legal and irrevocable accession.
• India had also conveyed that the Pakistan government and its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.
• The Union External Affairs Ministry had stated in May 2020 that India completely rejects such continued attempts by Pakistani government to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory. The Ministry stated that instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas it has occupied illegally.
• India has also protested to China over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
What is CPEC?
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a construction project launched in 2013, aims to connect Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province. The corridor is a flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The project, originally valued at USD 46 billion, is currently worth over USD 60 billion as of 2017. The work on the Moqpondass Special Economic Zone is expected to begin soon under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
India on October 31, 2020 had released a new political map after two new UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh came into being. The new map shows three Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) districts- Mirpur, Poonch and Muzaffarabad as a part of J&K and Gilgit-Baltistan as a part of Ladakh UT.