Pakistan may cede Gilgit Baltistan to Chia to pay off debts: Report
Gilgit Baltistan, Jun 23: A report has said that Pakistan may cede Gilgit Baltistan to China on lease to pay off its mounting debt.
Mumtaz Nagri, the chairman of the Karakoram National Movement expressed fear that the isolated Gilgit Baltistan , a Pakistan occupied Kashmir region could become a future battleground for the world powers to compete a report in the Al Arabiya Post said.
The ceding of Gilgit Baltistan which Pakistan illegally occupies would be a boon for China's expansion plans. It would like the region as it is on the trail of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Pakistan would however benefit greatly with such a deal as it faces a terrible economic crisis. This move would earn Pakistan a hefty lease of money and help it tide over the economic crisis.
This would however be a calculated risk for Pakistan as it risks angering the United States and could be denied the $3 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It could also further blacklist from getting funds from the IMF, World Bank and other global agencies, the report also said.
Even if Pakistan decides to go ahead with the decision, it would be met with local protests as the population already feels short changed by the way the CPEC has bypassed Gilgit Baltistan at Islamabad's behest.
The socio-economic conditions in Gilgit Baltistan are extremely poor. The region gets only two hours of power because the region is not part of Pakistan's national grid. On the other hand the US is no mood to quit the region as wants to prevent a possible Chinese expansion into South Asia. Instead the US may want an outpost of its own, the Al Arabiya Post report said.
"The US could have benefited in Afghanistan if Gilgit-Baltistan was in India and Balochistan was independent," Bob Lancia, a US Congress candidate for Rhode Island said according to the report. He also said that if Balochistan was an independent country, the US could have used it for supplying US forces in Afghanistan instead of depending on Pakistan.