‘China occupying parts of Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan’
Geneva: 28 march.
A Kashmiri leader has revealed that China is in occupation of parts of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Aksai Chin, despite not being a party to any of these land ownership disputes. In an interview, Dr Shabir Choudhry, Head of Diplomatic Committee and senior leader of the Kashmir National Party (KNP), said: “China also occupies part of Jammu and Kashmir state, some part of the Aksai Chin area and some areas of Gilgit Baltistan.” “Despite that occupation, China is not a party in any dispute. Pakistan and pro-Pakistani Kashmiris are trying to make Beijing a party in these disputes. This will be totally disastrous,” he warned. Choudhry further stated that having more or less unrestricted access to these areas, Beijing has undertaken a major exploration drive to unearth precious minerals and stones, which it hopes to use for developing its missile technology. “Various areas in Gilgit Baltistan have been given to China for exploration. All minerals, precious stones and (other) material that can be used for missile technology, China is taking all those away. Pakistan has given these areas to China very generously. They (Pakistanis) have received an amount for that. For each area that they have given to China, they have received money for that,” Choudhry claimed.
Claiming that China and Pakistan’s elite class were the only ones benefitting from this exercise, the Kashmiri leader said: “Local people are protesting that these resources belong to us, we should benefit only, our generations should benefit.”“I visited Gilgit Baltistan. I saw that area and I was surprised to see Chinese signboards over there. What does that imply? People there don’t know Chinese. I don’t know Chinese. It means that Chinese presence is there. Signboards are for them, not for me or not for Pakistanis. So there is a large presence of Chinese in Gilgit Baltistan,” he said. “The road construction and dam construction which is going on over there, there is a large presence of the Chinese Army,” he added.