CPEC Will Benefit Only Chinese Interests, Say Kashmiri Leaders

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Gilgit Baltistan, Dec 22: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a mega project passing through the disputed Gilgit Baltistan region has sparked off an outcry by Kashmiris. The USD 46 billion mega project involves the construction of roads, railway network, power plants, industrial parks and much more. A 15-year plan, CPEC, will be completed in four phases. It will link China’s Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. However, the indigenous people of Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, are raising their voice against the project. Kashmiri nationalists, who are opposing the CPEC project, are outraged by the comments of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif who said that any attempt to obstruct the project will be thwarted. Pakistan has been treating Gilgit Baltistan as its colony. The people of the region have been in a constant constitutional vacuum for over 65 years, as they have neither representation in the parliament of Pakistan nor any “constitutionally mandated” local assembly. They cannot raise their voice in national assembly and senate for economic, political and civil stability. The people of Gilgit Baltistan believe that the CPEC is a new and deliberate attempt to change the demographics of the region. Gilgi

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