The ‘Great Game’ in Gilgit Baltistan

Published: October 26, 2010
SHARES
Email

Will the people of Gilgit-Baltistan be the next to suffer in the "Great Game"?

The latest allegation by India about the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan has sparked a new debate in the region.

Some accuse India of attempting to malign Pakistan and say that it is time-tested friend China through ‘baseless’ propaganda; while others construe it as the beginning of a new “Great Game.”

The term “great game” is not new to the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, as the mountain-locked area has suffered a history of invasions.

The British captured Gilgit-Baltistan during the 19th century and ruled over it for years, in order to keep a check on the increasing Russian influence in the region.

Although they succeeded in their efforts, it was the local population that had to pay the price of destruction and slavery.

Notwithstanding the question of the Chinese army’s presence in Gilgit-Baltistan, speculations that the northern part of Pakistan is going to be the next battlefield of the Great Game are gaining strength.

The recent flood that devastated the infrastructure of Gilgit and the rest of its valleys were followed by an influx of relief aid flown in by the US. This has raised many eyebrows, reinforcing the conspiracy associated with American interests in G-B: to contain China’s “advancement” inside Pakistan (The Karakoram highway may be an example of it).

And for that matter, who else could be a better aide for America than India?

Although it was officially declared that US aircrafts and the Pakistan army’s C-130s carried winter stocks for flood victims in G-B, it didn’t put an end to speculations looking for a nexus between the two events – the presence of China’s army and the rush of C-17 aircraft.

The onslaught of US aircrafts, especially in Skardu in the past month, has sparked suspicions that America has hidden motives in the region, with regard to China.

If the new Great Game theory takes form in reality, the three important players-China, India and the US -will fight their wars in land best suited to it: Gilgit-Baltistan.

Let’s hope that the speculations are mere assumptions that have basis in reality.

Shabir.Ahmed

Shabbir Ahmed Mir

A reporter for The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • AA

    Thanks for the insight..how is tourism industry doing there??Recommend

  • A Suhail

    Is there any area of Pakistan left where there is some kind of “great game” not going on. Be it Baluchistan, KP, Karachi, Southern Punjab and now Gilgit-Baltistan. Why do we Pakistani’s think we are so important that everyone is trying to hurt us? If our army had invested in a fleet of helicopters instead of spending money on Defence housing schemes, US army helicopters would not have been needed for the rescue operation. We called them for help they didnt automatically jumped in. Its time we throw these stupid theories out and work to provide jobs and good infrastructure to people in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Deen

    This sucks, it seems, Pakistan, some one how manages to always get caught in the middle of international politics. First the cold war, which included the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. America’s war of terror or on terror, how ever you would like to phrase it. Now the behind closed doors US-Sino conflict in the making. Even America’s Afghan presence to this date, could solely be to be in the back yard of the People’s republic of China and China’s Xinjiang province is right next door to the Afghan border, where those bloody civil riots took place last year. Could this be the spark of a new Sino-US conflict. I was impressed by the Chinese political moves in the EU over the last month. It seems its turning into a game of chess, played by two very highly skilled players.Recommend

  • faraz

    Waziristan has gas reserves, Balochistan has uranium, gold and oil, Karachi is a major port, Gawader can be used to extract central asian oil, Thar has coal, Swat lies next to Karakorum highway which connects us to China, Southern Punjab could be attacked to divide Pakistan into two, Upper punjab is a trade route which connects India to afghanistan……..so how is it possible that Gilgit-Bultistan has no strategic value?

    Our government has failed to provide even the basic needs of life, so it feeds people such fantastic ideas to induce a feel good factor; people feel empowered when they hear that Pakistan is the strategic centre of gravity of the entire world! It also strengthens the claim that all our ills are a result of conspiracies hatched by global powers to grab these vital strategic areas.

    A famous urdu columnists wrote that the target killings in Karachi are being carried out by Blackwater and 500 Humvees are hidden in Karachi to take control of the city. Doesnt this feel good that actually the killings are not a result of ethn-linguistic or political differences, gang wars or land mafias? Recommend

  • A Suhail

    @Faraz. Right on friend. I also read the urdu columnists particular piece you are mentioning. After reading that I have come to the conclusion that he will make a great urdu suspense/adventure novelist. And have you heard about the Blackwater agents hiding in North Waziristan who look exactly like local people. speak the same dialect, pray five times a day and are killing Pakistani soldiers with impunity? Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Those are beautiful places………but what about tourism there? Bcz their living is on income of tourism…The local ones suffer as a result..Recommend

  • Aftab Siddiqui

    Peoples army was helping FWO clear the Karakoram Highway. That was it… nothing else..

    Perhaps those best equipped to lead a revolution are those wearing boots. So let our army decide what is good and what is not in that area. None of us can go and do anything neither politicians nor so called civil society.Recommend

  • hameed ali khan

    the reasons to all the problems is us..we do all the bad things to harm our country and says that all these are part of great game which plays the powerfull countries..but the fact is some thing different..we explode bombs in mosques and says black water is behind that..we target the sufis shrines,the crime rate is very high all of our politicians are corrupt and disqualified for their relevent fields and we says that mossad is behind that..Recommend

  • http://www.razarustami.bravehost.com Muhammad Raza

    the strategic value of Gilgit-Baltistan is not a hidden matter for anybody who has a little knowledge about the geography of the area. The boarders of china and India meet with this region and have their own interests. India has the mind set that this area belongs to India and China has its own economic and security benefits with the area. America is very influential in Pakistan and this area can be used to isolate china so the word Great Game seems a perfect fit in the situation. The time will tell that what were the real motives of which country but the recent allegation by India about the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan may be an American dictation.
    Analysts usually point out the sole china-america matter but the real game may be different. Gilgit-Baltistan is very rich in natural resources.Precious gems and minerals like Aquamarine, Quartz, Amethyst, Topaz, Tourmaline, Epidote (Zabar Jat), Garnet, Ruby, Rezolite, Fluorite, Emerald, Zircon and Appetite etc are obtained from the rocks of GB. Some local sources say that gold, diamond, plutonium and uranium are also present in the high mountain ranges of Karakorum, Himalayans and hindu-kush. The question is, Just like Iraq and Afghanistan Is America eying for this region too? If the answer is yes then it is certain that the world is going to witness another GREAT GAME.Recommend

  • Well wisher

    Come out of dream world. Cast aside the illusions. Have an honest appraisal as a nation. See where it stands in community of nations.Forget USA/ China/ India/ Afganistan for a moment. Focus on task at hand. And that is to build the nation from scratch. That should be the goal. Japan/ Germany and UK built themselves up in 65 years. Look at them. Is JApan strategically placed or for that matter Germany or UK. Yet see their progress. Look at South Korea, Taiwan – countries without any natural resources but they invested in education rather than Military.
    If you can make country educationally powerful, econmic growth will be follow naturally.
    Choice is Pakistan either can be
    – North Korea or
    – South Korea
    It will be will of the people of country that will determine its course not its leaders or Geographical locationRecommend

  • http://NewDelhi SKChadha

    So, the vultures are roaming in the sky for death of the pray .. ??

    Friends, Gilgit-Baltistan territory is part of J&K which is under the occupation of Pakistan. It is the territory forming part of so called ‘Azad Kashmir’. The blog writer and commentators here consider it part of Pakistan whereas, for GOP it is ‘Azad’. Please correct me if I am wrong .. ??

    To me being an Indian, this region represents Indian Territory occupied by Pakistan. This region also represents colonialist vision of Pakistan and it is apparent when Pakistan calling PHK ‘Azad’ broke it into two by separating Balawaristan (i.e. Gilgit Baltistan) Region. The dilemma of GB according to them is that after librating themselves from Dogra Kings at the time of partition Pak ruled it trough a resident for 26 years under F.C.R. as the British used to do. The people of Gilgit Baltistan area can not send their elected representatives to any Assembly. They are now under suzerainty of Pakistan. This Shea majority region is slowly facing influx of Sunni dominance of Punjabis. Few facts:

    i. The deprived people of Gilgit Baltistan areas do not have the right to appeal in the Supreme Court or the High Court of AK or Pakistan. Not even a criminal or civil case can be lodged with the High Court or the Supreme Court because Gilgit and Baltistan do not fall within the jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court of AK or Pakistan.
    ii. They do not have their own currency, postage stamp, UN membership etc. etc. (the list is long).
    iii. High ranking officers like Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary, I.G.P etc for GB come from Islamabad?
    iv. Azad Kashmir Rifles militia consisting people from GB was disbanded by Pakistan and amalgamated with Pak army. These soldiers were used as fodder in Kargil Operation and even their bodies were not claimed by Pakistan?
    v. No elections in GB can be fought without taking oath of allegiance to GB’s accession to Pakistan. Their all nomination applications were rejected for not filling accession to Pakistan oath document. Are these people free or enslaved?
    vi. No official in GB can assume office unless he takes the oath of GB’s accession to Pakistan?
    vii. Nobody from GB can be appointed on any government job unless he/she expresses loyalty to the concept of its accession to Pakistan.
    viii. GB citizens faced displacement in Diamer Dam but no royalty is being given nor the share towards tax realizations and sales tax. Looking another Side, NWFP get royalty of Terbela Dam.

    These are few facts of GB, the list is long ….. ?? Please see the freedom movement of the people of this region as reported in Pak media: http://www.youtube.com/user/BalawaristanFreedom#p/a/f/0/_zhRTfiCRCERecommend

  • Noor Muhammad

    Thank you Shabir for writing this blogpost.

    @ SKChadha

    What makes you think that GB is part of Indian territory?

    We, the people of GB, will celebrate our independence day on November 1, after a couple of days. Let me run you through the history of that day. You will understand why we celebrate the day and what it means for us, the people of GB.

    GB was historically divided into small states, each having its own system of governance. Prominent among the states were Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, Punial, Skardu and Shigar. The regions of Diamir and Astore were tribal in nature, without proper state systems.

    When the colonizers-of-colonizers, the Brits, came to grab our land, our states fell one by one to foreign invasion, with active help from the Maharajas of Kashmir and the Kashmiris, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. This was a time when the USSR and the British empire were engaged in the first cold war. Our region was later to be used as a buffer zone between the two super-powers, read, massive colonizers.

    The great Gohar Aman, Raja of Yasin, fought bravely against the invaders, leading his comrades from the front. He, however, could not equal the fire power of British Army and their local agents. Over the coming decades oour states fell one by one to the invaders and occupiers and our independence was snatched, by the Brits, added by the Kashmiris. Our land was enslaved.

    The two last states to fall were those of Nagar and Hunza, where the Brits awarded two Victoria Crosses to their fallen soldiers. You can imagine the ferocity of resistance shown by our under-armed and few-in-number ancestors.

    Nevertheless, militarily weak, as they were, they could not protect our land from the invaders and occupiers, the Britishers and their Kashmiri paid agents/sepoys.

    Puppet regimes were installed in our valleys, as is tradition of invaders and colonizers, even today. Look at what America is doing in Afghanistan! But then the Britishers sold our region to the Maharaja of Kashmiris.

    Later when the Brits sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh, in the worst violation of human rights, we went to the slavery of Kashmiris.

    Our land was snatched by force, enslaved and sold but the spirits remained free. The willingness to snatch independence flickered.

    The partition of sub-continent provided our ancestors with the opportunity to have their revenge and they made the best of it. The war commenced on November 1, when the Dogra governor – a colonial agent of the Kashmiri Raja, was arrested and the flag of freedom hoisted. The war of freedom had begun under leadership of the local officers of a paramilitary force called “Gilgit Scout”, with the help of a number of Muslim officers of Kashmir’s army. The rebellion resulted granted freedom to 27,000 square miles of land, up to Kargil. Most of the present day Gilgit – Baltistan is made up of the land freed by our heroic ancestors, later helped by the Pakistani Army.

    The Dogra agents of Kashmiri Maharja were defeated and made to flee from our motherland. Freedom was attained from the Kashmiri invaders and occupiers.

    Let me also share an interesting fact here and I am sure most of the Pakistanis are not aware of it.

    We had our own independent state, the Islamic Republic of Gilgit. The state existed for 15 days, from November 1 – 15, led by the revolutionary Gilgit Scout with the help of local notables. What happened to that state is a different story altogether. A story of post-colonial colonization at the hands of Pakistani establishment, at the behest of cunning Kashmiri politicians who had in reality no sympathy for the people of Gilgit – Baltistan. The past 63 years have been raft with disappointments, betrayals and deceit but even today the region is full of lovers of Pakistan. Dissidents, like me are few, but increasing in number.

    The Indian ownership claims on our land are ridiculous. These are face saving tactics, because they have not forgotten their defeat in the valleys of Gilgit – Baltistan. We won our independence in the battlefield. We freed our land. If you want to occupy, come and try to occupy by force, as you have done in Junagarh and Hyderabad. We may not be able to defeat you militarily but you will never ever be able to enslave our spirits.

    Our NLI (Northern Light Infantry) won two Nishan-e-Haider at the heights of Kargil and hundreds of our youth sacrificed their lives. Lalak Jan proves the fact that the warrior in each one of us has not died. There is still enough blood in us, if our motherland (GB) demands it.

    We are neither Kashmiris. We are neither Indians. We have wanted to be Pakistanis but for 63 years we have not been able to. Our future is an autonomous state, unlike Azad Kashmir. The present governance setup is a step forward towards autonomy, but way of short of what we aspire. The struggle is on. The destination awaits.

    So, Chadha Jee, before claiming my land, know that you are unwanted here, as much as you are unwanted in Occupied Kashmir. I hope you hear the hatred that flies with the stones pelted by the Kashmiri Youth. Had they loved/liked you, your state would not have killed over 100,000 Kashmiris, to retain its “atoot-ang”.

    People in GB sympathize and support the Kashmiri freedom struggle, but we are not Kashmiris. Never.Recommend

  • Noor Muhammad

    Lastly, see what your own Arundhati Roy has to say about your India.

    “Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their
    minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice,
    while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters,
    rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free”.

    (ARUNDHATI ROY)Recommend

  • http://NewDelhi SKChadha

    @ Noor Muhammad,

    In my comments I have discussed the political ideology of the individuals of Gilgit Baltistan and the claims and counter claims of Pakistan and India as to this territory? It is not to offend the individual’s feelings. The facts of the history mentioned by you are not different than what I have said. It is only that you have dragged the history even before the Dogra Kings and British Raj. Sir, claims and counter claims on a piece of land is altogether different in any federal structure. I am borne and brought up in Rajasthan (India) and my forefathers were migrated to India from Sialkot (Pakistan). I am not sure that even Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengal or for that matter any territory in India belongs to me ..?? Yes, I have a right to visit such places, do my job as an equal citizen of India and earn livelihood. As per document of accession and considering G-B as part of Indian federation, I would like to have the similar rights in G-B with your permission. Of course, not better than what are available to you being native of that State?

    Noor Muhammad Sahib, In India, we all moan, groan, fight and also sacrifice some of our personal rights for a good social order. These sacrifices are at all levels individual to family, family to neighborhood, neighborhood to community and community to states and so on. Even as a follower of our faith we all sacrifice certain rights. As a follower of a particular religion or its teachings are you not sacrificing some of your rights? At least list the practices prohibited in your own religion and understand the rights you lose by adopting it or forcefully imposed upon you by society. Whether you are independent in your own family? A soul searching is required? Yes, we all denounce crimes, excesses or errors, more so, if they are committed by men in uniform with full mens rea ? What about your AZADI in PHK when Pak Government, Establishments, tribesman who stormed it after partition whether they themselves maintain that you are not part of Pakistan or ‘Azad’?

    You said “We have wanted to be Pakistanis but for 63 years we have not been able to

    Is it only because of your faith in Islam or anything else … !!! May I know the reason of your slavery as you yourself admit .. ??Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Noor Mohammad
    Arundati Roy is not an expert on my India. She has declared herself as one person republic who happens to reside in my India and you know for us its “Atithi Devo Bhava”. Anyway being a good orator/writer and having understanding of what nationhood is all about are two different things.
    BTW are not these remarks more aptly suited to PakistanRecommend

  • Noor Muhammad

    As per document of accession and considering G-B as part of Indian federation, I would like to have the similar rights in G-B with your permission.

    Sir, independence won in the battlefield is superior to any document signed by any aggressor and occupier in our name. Neither the public of Gilgit – Baltistan, nor their puppet rulers, were signed any document of accession, whatsoever. Our ancestors spilled their blood, and also of your and the Dogram army’s, to wash the ink off all documents of forced slavery and bondage imposed by aggressors and occupiers.

    Thus, you have no rights in GB, just like I have not rights in India or Papua New Guinea and Vatican City, for that matter! However, you are more than welcome as a tourist, just like the Americans/Europeans/Chinese/Koreans/Africans are! We have bewitchingly beautiful mountains and valleys and you can certainly enjoy a couple of days here as our guest, enjoying the traditional hospitality of our people. I hope you get the visa to do so :-p

    Going back to history, the semi-autonomous states of Hunza and Nagar acceded to Pakistan and requested Pakistani assistance for governing the region. They were followed by other princely states of GB. That decision was a political blunder which led us to a mega identity crisis.

    I am happy to hear from you that people are working to bring the 30 million people of India out of abysmal poverty. Good for you!

    Since I am not a spokesperson for Azad Kashmir or I have never even visited Kashmir, maybe a Kashmiri can answer the question about their liberties in a more accurate manner. Nevertheless, I am sure that Pakistan has not deployed over 700,000 men-in-uniform-who-operate-above-any-law to govern the region in Azad Kashmir, like India has done to ‘govern’ what it ridiculously claims to be an integral part of ‘mother India’.

    Love for Pakistan comes from faith of GB’s majority population. People in GB, generally, think bad of the Pakistani politicians and bureaucrats but you will find very few who speak against the state of Pakistan.

    As I said earlier, the struggle is on. The destination awaits. But our destination is definitely not India or Kashmir. :-)

    So concentrate more on reducing poverty in India, instead of wasting your energy and resources in attempting to enslave us. We are better off, without India.

    I agree with her. Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. Let me add to that, GB has never been a willing part of Kashmir. Kashmiris had occupied our region and so had Brits. There is no difference, for most of us, between the two.

    The only thing common between us and Kashmiris is the Himalayas! But then, we also share the Hindukush with Afghanistan and the Pamirs with Central Asia!

    @ Tony Singh – Sardar Jee, Arundhati was very much an Indian when she won the Booker Prize, writing about the downcast segments of your India. Her Hindustaniat became doubtful only after she started speaking the truth and that too in a powerful manner. Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Noor Muhammad
    This are not mine, but her declaration – I only concur with her. We are a community and we can tolerate “one man/woman/person” republic amongst us. I just wish as a guest in my India, she beheaves as a guest and not poke her nose into our family matters. Else let her go back on her declaration and earn the right to comment/ judge/ poke her nose/ whatever.
    2.Can you air your views on “THE NOBEL PEACE PRICE WINNER’ OF 2010. Or will the Chinese masters will take offence? Surely he too, as Arundati, has right to his views. I am sure unlike your Army, you are not “India Centric” and will surely comment on the Chinese Nobel prize winner. Or am I asking for too much?? Recommend

  • http://NewDelhi SKChadha

    “Sir, independence won in the battlefield is superior to any document signed by any aggressor and occupier in our name. Neither the public of Gilgit – Baltistan, nor their puppet rulers, were signed any document of accession, whatsoever.”

    Surprises me ….. !!!

    Noor Muhammad Sahib,

    Your comments suggest that you are very much concerned about poverty in India, Kashmiri’s oppression by Indian Armed Forces and love for Pakistan which comes due to your faith in their public. Not in their government …!!! Is it correct?

    Sir, I will certainly take your suggestion of reducing poverty in India and already progressing in that direction. As to your suggestion of vesting energy in enslaving you is concerned, I would like to say that you are already enslaved to Pakistan, which of course you admit. India has to only calculate the price for transfer of enslavement, if at all it is prepare to invest …. Isn’t it?

    To understand your credential and independence movement of GB, for me it is enough to have your view point as to the following:
    (a) What are your views about “Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order, 2009?
    (b) I have also read that Pakistan’s Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Arbab Alamgir Khan told the national and international media that the government of Pakistan has decided that royalty for the Diamer Dam being built in the Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan would be paid to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because Gilgit-Baltistan is not the geographical and constitutional part of Pakistan. I would also like to have your views on this news.
    (c) I also understand that Pak government has announced some hefty financial package for GB to curb your movement. Is it correct? Whether it is in the form of US Dollars which Mr. Qureshi has got or Pakistani Rupees to shut up you?
    (d) Whether your movement represent all districts of Astore, Diamer, Ghanche, Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza-Nagar, Skardu etc. or limited to few erstwhile feudal landlords/ rulars of the area?
    (e) Considering you as a resident of the Area and ‘Azad’, I would further like to know that which country’s visa I will require to visit to your place as a tourist?
    (f) I appreciate your confidence but please also advise me the percentage of population of GB which deposes their confidence in you and your movement?

    For your information I am also King in my house and I also have permission of my wife and my children to say so? Ha .. Ha… Ha …Recommend

  • Noor Muhammad

    @ Chadda

    Only responding to the relevant questions;

    Read my article about the self-government and empowerment order, here;

    http://pakistandesk.com/?p=2484

    The minister is entitled to have his views. Read the Court’s verdict on this issue here:

    http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/court-rules-diamerbhasha-dam-royalty-exclusive-right-of-gb-600

    Money to shut me up?

    I have been speaking/writing with liberty for many years. Now that you tell me about the money, I shall be looking forward to the dollars :-p hahaha

    I speak for myself but you will find thousands who endorse these views. I am not representing any political party here. I am sharing my ideas as a concerned citizen of Gilgit – Baltistan. There are several nationalist parties in the region, like KNM, BNF. They are very small groups, having no popular base.

    You will need Pakistani visa, of course :-), just like I will need Indian Visa to visit the Occupied Kashmir.
    Thanks for liking my confidence. I am a معمولی (I am sure you know Urdu, if you don’t, bad luck) student activist, one of the thousands of GB students who are struggling for the region’s legitimate rights.

    As, I have already said <> the struggle is on, the destination awaits. we have the dreams and the desires :-), and India and Kashmir, surely, are neither a dream, nor a desire.

    @ Tony Singh – Sardar Jee bhangra pawo, mauj manwo, aqal ki baatu may dil mut uljhawo :-)

    I have great admiration for the Chinese Nobel Laureate. He is a free soul, unlike you :-) Recommend

  • http://NewDelhi SKChadha

    Noor Muhammad –

    Thanks for sharing the information. Let us see ‘Oonth Kis Karwat Baithta Hai”.

    Lage Raho Munna Bhai.Recommend

  • http://www.tanks.net Tank Guy James

    I suppose in an area that’s constantly flooded with propaganda and subterfuge these kinds of feeling and, perhaps, paranoia are bound the crop up all the time. Still, I would rather the Americans giving aid and checking the Chinese than the Chinese getting too involved inn the area.. though obviously none of them would be better. The thing with the American is they usualy go away (eventually), but if the Chinese get involved, especially militarily, they will be very difficult to remove being that their country is only next door to Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan itself.Recommend

  • http://www.faithfreedom.org Ali Sina

    My prediction is that India will not get involved in the dogfight. It is between the US and China that the great game will play out both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Given the history of China’s stealth entry into Tibet followed by outright annexation half a century ago, Pakistan should worry more about China than the US. Shaksgam Valley is another example. The Chinese played the “all weather friend” game with India back then and fooled the Indians. The US is geographically isolated from the region to have other interests more than simply pushing back China. Note that the PLA has a track record of not leaving occupied lands once they put their feet on it. So let’s be careful and worried, lest we want to end up caught by surprise as being another Xinjiang puppet in the hands of China.Recommend

  • HUSSAIN

    Bravo! Mr Shabbir on your bold attempt where you have exhaustively given a brief view on the political background of Gilgit-Baltistan and its strategic significance for Pakistan. Really i felt pleasure on your writting and caption as well.Being a dweller of the same region i must contribute my spirit in this regard that whatever rumours prevailing about presence of Chinese troops in GB have been entirely trump up in the United States and India as well.What interests behind these baseless allegation is only put the region backward from the current pace of development.As it has been mentioned by Mr Noor that these colonial powers are conspiring to mend a new ground for dragging down the successive growth of chinese economy.But here i firmly state that non of them will be able to do so in the presence of our regional defiance and the same spirit will prove to be faithful citizen of our homeland Pakistan. Long live Pakistan. Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Noor Muhammad
    Tony Singh – Sardar Jee bhangra pawo, mauj manwo, aqal ki baatu may dil mut uljhawo :-)

    I have great admiration for the Chinese Nobel Laureate. He is a free soul, unlike you :-)

    I can understand your frustation (It shows they way you address people). It happens. Any disiullsioned human can act in that wayRecommend

  • Anoop

    The latest allegation by India about the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan has sparked a new debate in the region.”

    Can I see a link of a newspaper where this story was published?

    India did not claim anything. This story appeared in NYT and the Indian government had a meeting if this is true or not.

    Get your facts right.

    @Noor Muhammad and @SKChadha,

    Sorry, to barge in your conversation. Indian claims on POK are just a bargaining chip. Pakistan claims are devoid of common sense.

    No power,how ever weak, will give up a large piece of land to any other country at any cost.India being the kind of emerging power and a potential superpower it is expected to be will less likely allow this. Add to this economic, military,sociological(considering the 150+ million population stands at a heavy risk of being alienated as they had been after partition) and political side-effects, then that reality will dawn on you.

    We have to go back to the pre-1987 Kashmir and have to implement the Constitutionally guaranteed autonomy in full force.

    Pakistan has very less say in this matter. It doesn’t have any cards in this poker game. The one card it had(Read State sponsored Terror) has outlived its value period considering that all mess that Pakistan is in now is due to its sponsoring to Islamic militants not too long ago. That is why we see Pakistan virtually begging US presidents to intervene in Kashmir talks. That is desperation, my friends.

    Kashmir is a void for Pakistan that will never be fulfilled.Recommend

  • http://NewDelhi SKChadha

    @ Anoop – I agree with you that India should not further alienate 150+ population in neighbourhood in the matter of GB and that is why the issues are only on negotiating table and not in public domain. Only in this context I replied to Noor Muhammad that India has to calculate the price for transfer of enslavement, if at all it is prepare to invest?

    The issue here for discussion was about GB which is part of erstwhile state of J&K and under Pak occupation. India is bound by its Constitutional Guarantees to J&K and we abide by it. However, the situation on other side is not conducive for peaceful living of Kashmiri. The intimidation since 80’s have forced India to erect fences. This has resulted in further discomfort to Kashmiri in their free movement, trade and cultural ties across LOC. The problem is that other side has no real issue except crocking for Kashmir talks. Both countries can have good relations if we keep this issue in hibernation and progress for trade, cultural and ethnic ties.Recommend

  • zahid

    mr noor you are spot on. what ever mistakes happened or misunderstandings created can be undone by ourselves and surly we dont need anyone let alone indians to bother.Recommend

  • Noor

    @ Chadha

    India is bound by its constitution to ensure that its 431 million people, most of them living in slums at the outskirts of the wannabe “super-power’s” industrial hubs – sharing 1 toilet between 1000 people, come out of the abysmal poverty trap.

    Don’t worry about us.

    What we will do in the case of ‘enslavement – transfer’, as you say, is that we will accede to China! Our state, Hunza, has a historical connection with China, you know!

    Then, you can start fighting with the real emerging super-power …. lol Recommend

  • Nagma Pathan

    The above discussion is confusing. I just conclude by saying that India is behind various nefarious attempts in pakistan. The Gilgit being hot spot for them is seen by indian an opportunity to shake pakisan.Recommend

  • M H Nagri

    I deem it wise to agree with Mr Chand whatever he commented except the opinion that “GB is part of Kashmir”. Mr SK Chand has rightly highlighted the grievances ,deprivations and dirty games played by military cum non local bureaucracy. I also agree with Noor Muhammad who raised such valuable comments.Recommend

  • andrea

    @SKChadha: Speak to anyone from Gilgit Baltistan and you’ll see very soon that no one there thinks of themselves as Indian and no one wants to be part of India- period. If anything locals there are more committed to free occupied Kashmir because we suffered the most under the Dogras. We may have challenges within Pakistan but it is our home and we are with it.Recommend