Friday, April 15, 2011

Gilgit-Baltistan under threat of intrigue

Islamabad: With the Indian attention getting focused on frozen heights constituting her borders with China and her military posture incrementally gaining potency in that direction, the idyllic Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Area of Pakistan is finding itself exposed to an unprecedented influx of extraneous intrigue, say informed sources.

Following the pattern of external interference in Baluchistan to challenge writ of the State, efforts are now underway to fan up sub-nationalism in the GB area to create instability. Such efforts have shown an upward trend following the convincing defeat of sub-nationalists in the recently conducted elections. According to sources intercepted messages have revealed that the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) is planning to start anti-government rallies targeting the Pak-China trade and is working to enhance the US influence in the strategic region which provides a conduit for two way movement of logistics between Gawadar Port to Chinese hinterland.

The BNF officials are propagating that the movement for an independent GB has the US support and once the activities gear up the US would support such a move. The message instructed that expatriates in the US to redouble their efforts to project their movement ; appreciating the role played by one Mr. Imtiaz , who spoke at a seminar arranged by BNF activists at one of the leading US universities. Mr. Imtiaz also appeared at a local TV program in March 2011 in which he vowed to secure an independent GB.

According to analysts the rising Indian military profile, which in not too distant a future is eyeing a military capability comparable to that of China has begun to realize the importance of GB in the background of border dispute with its northerly neighbor. The existence of Karakoram Highway (KKH) and its importance to ease logistic problems for conduct of operation in such difficult terrain emerges as a factor cross grained to Indian interests. The unfounded and baseless statement by Lt Gen K.T.Parnaik, India’s Northern Army Commander can be interpreted in the same context. “Chinese presence in GB and Northern Areas is increasing steadily…There are many people who are concerned about the fact if there was to be hostility between us and Pakistan what would be the complicity of Chinese”, he had alleged. The Foreign offices of Pakistan and China had vehemently denied the accusations.

Given the Indo-US strategic unanimity on containing the Chinese rise to global power, the propaganda emanating from India at disturbing the peace in the strategic GB Region has intensified. On a parallel track the vested efforts and the related flow of funds to fan sub-nationalism have gathered intensity. It calls for watchfulness on part of Pakistan to ensure that extraneous forces are not permitted to rake trouble in the sensitive Region, say analysts. – Agencies

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