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“China-Pak Exploiting Gilgit-Baltistan, PoK” Claim Angry Locals

China is building a 3,000-km-long economic corridor to link western China to southern Pakistan through rail and road

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Residents of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmiri (PoK) have grown frustrated with both Chinese and Pakistani attempts at exploiting their resources in a reckless manner, reports The Times of India.

Strong opposition is being seen for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it has failed to provide any tangible benefits to the residents of the area, and instead is turning out to be just another exercise for selfish economic gain.

Activists and locals have raised concerns that CPEC project will create a huge ecological imbalance. Locals are dejected as presence of Chinese workers in the region has left them without jobs.

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Strong Resentment to China’s Presence

There is a growing resentment among locals over China’s presence in the region. To fulfill the requirements of the project, the government and the army are forcibly acquiring the ancestral land of the locals in Gilgit-Baltistan.

China is investing over 40 billion dollars for its ambitious 3,000-km-long economic corridor that will link western China to southern Pakistan through a network of roads, railway lines and pipelines.

The project is being touted as bringing about a spectacular socio-economic change in the region, however, alienated residents are not convinced.

People want that at least they should be informed about the project, be taken into confidence so that they get to know what all benefits they will get from this project. We fear that this should not happen as if we sit idle and only count the number of trucks coming from China side and not benefit even a bit.
Abdul Rehman Bukhari
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Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK Being Ignored

Pakistan, which suffers from a huge power crisis, draws its electricity mostly from Gilgit-Baltistan, but ironically none of the power projects have presence in the region - thus depriving Gilgit of potential royalties.

They are constructing 60 economic zones as per the CPEC project, but none of these zones exist in Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The CPEC will pass through these areas, but they are only constructing an army headquarter in Diamer for the security of the corridor. But out of $40 million to be spent on the project, there is no investment in Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK.
Mohd Naeem Khan, leader of the Kashmir National Party

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