In what may come as a matter of concern for India, Pakistan is planning to declare Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province. The Gilgit-Baltistan area is Pakistan's northernmost administrative territory that borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.A committee headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recommended to grant the region a provincial status, reports the GeoNews.
Sartaj Aziz, meanwhile, reported to have said that a constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes.
Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh are four provinces of Pakistan.However, India claims the Gilgit-Baltistan area as an integral part of its territory.
Gilgit-Baltistan shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and India considers it as part of the undivided Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan sees it as a separate from PoK.
The USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through this region, and reports said Pakistan was mulling to elevate the constitutional status of the region in a bid to provide legal cover to the CPEC.
Reports also said China's concerns about the unsettled status of Gilgit-Baltistan prompted Pakistan to change its status.
Baloch leaders have warned Islamabad of serious repercussions stating that this development will only lead to massive resistance by the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
United Kashmir People's National Party Foreign Affairs Secretary Jamil Maqsood said, that Pakistan's plan is unrealistic on every level as it needs local consensus in the matter, which they can never obtain.
Gilgit Baltistan, which inhabits two million population is part of Jammu and Kashmir, that cannot be separated from rest of the state. If Pakistan would merge it, which seems unrealistic, because it needs local consensus in the matter as well and other formalities, then it will face serious repercussions.Jamil Maqsood, United Kashmir People’s National Party Foreign Affairs Secretary