CPEC: Big Change

CPEC

Pakistan has military control over GB or northern areas since January 1949, people familiar with the subject said, citing UN records from 1949. Big Change: The end of Five­Year Plans: All you need to know Pakistan bid to legalise China­Pakistan Economic Corridor trips on UN resolutions NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s recent attempt to alter status of Gilgit­Baltistan region (under Pakistanoccupied Kashmir) is easier said than done. Pakistan wants to give the GB region Constitutional status for legal sanction to the proposed China­Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). However, it faces legal hurdles due to UN resolutions on the geographical entity that was part of Jammu & Kashmir princely state that acceded to India in 1947. GB (72,000 sq km) has remained undefined in Pakistani constitutions since 1947 and it is only recently that Islamabad has taken the initiative to bring the area under its Constitution for CPEC. Last year, at the alleged insistence of China, Pakistan toyed with the idea of making GB its fifth province. In March, foreign affairs adviser to the Pakistan PM Sartaj Aziz recommended that GB may be provisionally given ‘special status’ of a province pending final settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir issue as per UN Security Council resolutions. However, within days, a motion tabled in the UK House of Commons on March 23 said GB was an integral part of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir that acceded to India on October 26, 1947. It said Islamabad wants to annex this already disputed area. Pakistan has military control over GB or northern areas since January 1949, people familiar with the subject said, citing UN records from 1949. The 1949 Karachi agreement between Pakistani officials and president of ‘Azad Jammu Kashmir’ gave absolute control of the region to Islamabad. Earlier, though, a UN resolution in August 1948 sought withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the occupied parts of Jammu & Kashmir. Experts say Chinese presence in GB is not new as Islamabad gave Shaksgam Valley in GB to Beijing in 1963. There has, however, been strong criticism from European Parliament which, in November 2015, said that Chinese projects in GB are ecologically damaging.