Report urges Ind to take over PoK before China does

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New Delhi, May 10: A recent report by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis has warned India of the perils of China"s growing footprints in the PoK region. It has spoken in clear terms of the dangers and said that Indian needs to be more “assertive and proactive" to claim the vital parts of Kashmir since there were strong fears that Beijing might take over the territory by 2020.

Taking into consideration previous scuffles and an ongoing series of territorial disputes, China seem to be eying the Northern areas also referred as Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The report has pushed the discourse to a different platform altogether.

The report says, “These realities are certain to impinge on India's long-term security interests and therefore it is incumbent upon Indian policy makers to adopt a pro-active approach towards PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which is an integral part of India." The report also alleges that the Karakoram Highway (KKH) that connects Pakistan with China through the disputed Pakistani Kashmir area is being used to transfer nuclear materials secretly from Beijing to Islamabad. It adds, "That this has multiple strategic implications for regional security especially that of India has been underscored."

The KKH is 1,280-km-long and connects Havelian rail-head near Abbottabad, Pakistan to Kashgar in Xinjiang region of China and was built way back in 1978 with Chinese assistance. The report also explains the large number of Chinese-backed developmental works in the Pakistani Kashmir region like the hydel projects of Neelum-Jhelum, Gomal Zam and the reconstruction of Mangla dam.

The report also cites the clandestine way in which the Chinese were awarded such power projects and quotes the projects signed by President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit in 2009 that claims, “'often Chinese companies were awarded contracts without open bidding". The report so finds that, “it is difficult to have a clear idea of the nature and extent of Chinese involvement in PoK." It also voices peoples fear and says, "if the current pace of Chinese penetration is sustained, then China may completely take over Gilgit Baltistan by the year 2020."

The report comments on the alarming situation and adds, “This is not an alarmist proposition and such prospects have been hinted at in a New York Times article (that) states that at least 7,000-11,000 Chinese troops have been stationed in the Gilgit Baltistan region."

The report also states the situation and opines on the misrule and neglect in the region and gauges the public sentiments that seemed to show apathy against Pakistan increasing by the day.

The report also seeked to remind the Indian government of the 1994 parliamentary resolution that sought to declare the entire Jammu and Kashmir territory as an integral part of India and urged India to 'openly claim its rightful position on PoK in international fora and denounce Pakistan's illegal occupation'.

"India should not only rethink its approach but also try and mobilise international opinion against bad governance and (the) unlawful occupation since 1947," it says.

It also proposed the Indian government to send a 'clear and explicit message' to both Pakistan and China, 'which is seeking to fulfill its strategic objectives by involving itself in developmental projects'.

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