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BNF chief endorses Harrison's comment on aggressive Chinese intent in Gilgit-Baltistan

By Abdul Nisar

Brussels, Sept.7 (ANI): Balwaristan National Front chairman, Abdul Hamid Khan has praised and endorsed views aired by noted American expert on South Asian affairs Selig Harrison vis-'-vis China's gradual attempt to establish a presence in Pakistan's northern borderlands.

Responding to Harrison's August 26 article in the New York Times, in which he says China wants a grip on the region to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan, Khan accuses China of being "the first occupier, even before Pakistan, of thousands acres of our land of Hunza by manipulating the then British Empire."

According to Harrison, it takes 16 to 25 days for Chinese oil tankers to reach the Gulf. When high-speed rail and road links through Gilgit and Baltistan are completed, China will be able to transport cargo from Eastern China to the new Chinese-built Pakistani naval bases at Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara, just east of the Gulf, within 48 hours.

"China enters into our motherland without our will or permission. It only hatches conspiracies to occupy our land and our resources without giving back any benefit," Khan further states.

Commenting on the construction of the strategic Karakorum Highway (KKH), Khan says: "A very meager amount was paid to the people who lost their land for KKH, but that was nowhere close to being sufficient as per international standard. KKH was built for China and Pakistan to benefit both these countries, not the people of Gilgit Baltistan(GB)."

He accuses both China and Pakistan of reaching an agreement on Shoomshaal, and adds that in return, Beijing has accepted Gilgit Baltistan as a disputed part of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Do the people of GB (Gilgit-Baltistan) know that China is actively looting our resources of gold, copper and uranium? Even during Attaabad disaster, China and Pakistan were involved stealing from our mines, minerals which are used in space technology, in Gojal, Hunza and Chhahlt Nagir and other areas while Pakistani forces were exclusively busy stealing gold and uranium in Gojal Hunza," the BNF chief claims.

"In practice, Chinas has occupied our area in the past and it continues the process even today," he says.

"BNF and GBDA is struggling for freedom from the occupation. Occupation means occupation, irrespective of who occupies. Here the occupiers are black and yellow, there is no red or white occupier in Gilgit Baltistan," Khan says.

He also says that Pakistan has a tradition of begging for alms from America and Europe and then later cursing them through their puppets in the media, by terming it as public opinion.

He says the New York Times article authored by Selig Harrison, has "undoubtedly, disturbed the "military junta of Pakistan, who spread rumors in the markets, that Americans are hatching a conspiracy against Gilgit Baltistan."

Khan says that Harrison deserves praise rather than ridicule and criticism for his article in the NYT.

"It is a clear stand of BNF, that we condemn all the tactics of Pakistan and China to keep GB under their occupation. The recent invasion of China is not different than the invasion of East India Company of UK in eighteenth century to occupy India on the pretext of trade," he concludes. (ANI)

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