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The Gateway to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Is Closing

Dalit

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Pakistan’s absorption of Gilgit-Baltistan has always been illegal. Increasingly, however, the neglected region could get the last laugh.

by Michael Rubin

Chinese president Xi Jinping visited the Pakistani capital Islamabad on April 20, 2015, to sign fifty-one memorandums of understanding that formed the core of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that together were worth about $46 billion. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed the initial agreement, current Prime Minister Imran Khan dove into the relationship he inherited enthusiasm. “CPEC is great opportunity for Pakistan. CPEC connects us to China which is one of the biggest markets,” he stated. Asad Umar, his minister of planning, spoke of the benefits Pakistan would reap. “CPEC is being developed in a way that it cannot just be a stimulus to our economic growth but also provides Pakistan basis for regional integration,” Umar said. While the project has come at tremendous cost to Pakistan’s sovereignty—China increasingly looks at and treats Pakistan as a vassal state—perhaps the greatest losers in CPEC are those living in Gilgit–Baltistan.

Pakistan seized Gilgit-Baltistan in October 1947, after the new Pakistani government sent military irregulars into the region and seized it along with a portion of Kashmir. Initially, most Gilgitis rejected their inclusion into Pakistan, but Pakistani authorities ran roughshod over their concerns. In the 1949 Karachi Agreement, the government of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir ceded full control over the defense and foreign policy of Gilgit-Baltistan to the Pakistani central government.

Twenty-five years later, Islamabad abrogated the State Subject Rule, which prevents outsiders from seeking permanent residency, for Gilgit-Baltistan. The result has been slow-motion sectarian and ethnic cleansing. In 1948, when Pakistan invaded, Gilgit-Baltistan was at least 85 percent Shiite; that number has since fallen dramatically and is now likely below 50 percent.

While CPEC has saddled Pakistan with debt, it has not lived up to its ambitions, leaving Pakistan to face the inevitability of mortgaging sovereignty further to China or international financial institutions. Gilgit-Baltistan, however, which the Pakistani government touted as the “Gateway to CPEC,” is now symbolic of CPEC’s false promises to the already neglected region.

While Gilgit is geographically essential to CPEC’s success and Pakistani authorities pledged development along the highway, none materialized. Nor did promised opportunities in terms of education, employment and welfare materialize. Instead, Pakistan’s major political parties have siphoned off most of the cash and the associated projects to their own political strongholds in Punjab, Sindh, and other regions. At the last minute, for example, Islamabad canceled plans for a Gilgit-Chitral road in favor of a four-lane, fifty-mile highway between Chakdara to Fatehpur in Swat. Imran Khan even acquiesced to China sending four hundred thousand construction workers to Gilgit-Baltistan at the expense of local labor.

For Gilgit-Baltistan the problem has not only been a failure to reap benefits from CPEC but also that Khan’s desire to please China has meant a net loss. At the behest of Chinese mining companies, for example, Pakistan has canceled the licenses of local miners. Chinese developers have also displaced thousands of residents without compensation.

Here, Khan’s cynicism toward Gilgit-Baltistan and poor management may ultimately hurt CPEC more. By diverting funds from the Gilgit-Chitral road, Khan has forced the region to remain dependent on a single highway, one that angry locals can easily and repeatedly block. At best, this may disrupt CPEC’s timeline further but at worst, it could make many other projects unviable. Pakistan’s absorption of Gilgit-Baltistan has always been illegal. Increasingly, the neglected region could get the last laugh.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a frequent author for the National Interest.


That is right folks. The pain and anguish for the US deep state is multiplying on a daily basis. The Americans are going to fall very low in their appeasment of India. It would be very casual to laugh it off and claim that Rubin is an Indian paid content writer. Surely Rubin is paid to write pro-India articles, but he is willing to do it because he along with so many Western intelligentsia fully back Indian vitriol. This isn't merely some emotional outburst. These are genuine feelings and the hate for Pakistan is real. You have US deep state elements who are willing to risk it all. The nasty propaganda is meant to create a rift between Baloch, Sindhi and now Kashmiri Pakistanis. Notice how subtly and cunningly the Americans are crafting a plot to sow hatred among Pakistanis belonging to various ethnicities and regions. The Americans are hellbent on their objective to sow bloodshed and anarchy in Pakistan along ethnic and religious lines.

Additionally, the Americans and their Western counterparts provide refuge and support to various anti-state and separatist elements. PTM, BLA and MQM are a handful of examples where Western nations don't shy away from supporting their paid puppets.

Pakistan has a big challange ahead. The challange is to break the shackles. All reliance on US/Western nations must be broken. Unless Pakistan has no desire to change the current path of Western blackmail and sanctions.
 
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Kingslayerr

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Does anyone have any information regarding the fence and how many forts till now have been constructed? On both pak-iran-afg border.
 

Dalit

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Does anyone have any information regarding the fence and how many forts till now have been constructed? On both pak-iran-afg border.
The Afghan side has been covered for the most part. Although there are still some areas left that need fencing. The Iranian side has no fence like the one being built on the Afghan border.

It is funny you mention this because the Western bloc is also opposed to fencing. Western propaganda against Pakistani fencing is intensely malicious. They care so much for their Afghan brothers and sisters infiltrating Pakistan.
 

Kingslayerr

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The Afghan side has been covered for the most part. Although there is still some areas left that needs fencing. The Iranian side has no fence.
But the reports are claiming that 30% of the pak-iran border has been fenced and will be completed till dec 2021. You claim contradict reports.
 

Dalit

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But the reports are claiming that 30% of the pak-iran border has been fenced and will be completed till dec 2021. You claim contradict reports.
I have yet to see the results of Pak Iran fencing. Whilst the Pak Iran border is problematic at times the real threat emanates from the Afghan side. You know this too. There is a reason why the Afghan side is almost complete. Afghan border is where India, Afghanistan and US/NATO infiltrate Pakistan for their nefarious activities.
 

Kingslayerr

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I have yet to see the results of Pak Iran fencing. Whilst the Pak Iran border is problematic at times the real threat emanates from the Afghan side. You know this too. There is a reason why the Afghan side is almost complete. Afghan border is where India, Afghanistan and US/NATO infiltrate Pakistan for their nefarious activities.
Afghan border is 100x more problematic but we shouldn't rule out the fact that most balochi terrorists also have safe heaven's in iran sponsored by the regime. I actually have more interest in forts being built by the fence. There's no update on them. Probably they must have stopped building them due to funding constraints.
 

Dalit

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Afghan border is 100x more problematic but we shouldn't rule out the fact that most balochi terrorists also have safe heaven's in iran sponsored by the regime. I actually have more interest in forts being built by the fence. There's no update on them. Probably they must have stopped building them due to funding constraints.
Things have changed drastically since Iran ditched India recently and joined ranks with China. You have to understand the Iranian rationale for supporting disgruntled Baloch elements on our side. This was mostly dictated by Hindustan and of course their own insecurity that Gwadar is essentially a competitor of Chabahar. Additionally Pakistani relations with GCC bloc added another layer of insecurity. Things have changed very rapidly. Let's face it. Pak relations with GCC bloc are hardly as good as they used to be. Recent GCC backstabbing in the Kashmir conflict have altered the relations. Pakistan and Iran rapprochement is very likely. China is the bridge that is going to mend the ties.
 

Abdulrehman 2978

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Things have changed drastically since Iran ditched India recently and joined ranks with China. You have to understand the Iranian rationale for supporting disgruntled Baloch elements on our side. This was mostly dictated by Hindustan and of course their own insecurity that Gwadar is essentially a competitor of Chabahar. Additionally Pakistani relations with GCC bloc added another layer of insecurity. Things have changed very rapidly. Let's face it. Pak relations with GCC bloc are hardly as good as they used to be. Recent GCC backstabbing in the Kashmir conflict have altered the relations. Pakistan and Iran rapprochement is very likely. China is the bridge that is going to mend the ties.
ISPR literally announced Pak Iran border is like 30% fenced and the remaining will be fenced by end of this year.
 

Kingslayerr

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Things have changed drastically since Iran ditched India recently and joined ranks with China. You have to understand the Iranian rationale for supporting disgruntled Baloch elements on our side. This was mostly dictated by Hindustan and of course their own insecurity that Gwadar is essentially a competitor of Chabahar. Additionally Pakistani relations with GCC bloc added another layer of insecurity. Things have changed very rapidly. Let's face it. Pak relations with GCC bloc are hardly as good as they used to be. Recent GCC backstabbing in the Kashmir conflict have altered the relations. Pakistan and Iran rapprochement is very likely. China is the bridge that is going to mend the ties.
I would've agreed with everything you said if trump was still the president but now with biden i have some reservations.
1. Trump was going all out against iran and china which pushed both the countries together. We have no update on the china-iran corridor or whatever it was called. And due to trump being anti iran this in turn threatened india of sanctions so naturally india backed out. But with biden in house india is again getting cozy with iran as there's no threat of sanctions and if i remember correctly i read somewhere that india has again signed a contract with iran on chabahar.
2. I don't actually care if GCC stabed Pakistan on kashmir issue and lets be fair we were calling for it. We were balancing both iran and KSA with turned KSA against us, Yemen was one point but still i support every single decision the establishment took as we cannot afford to lock horns with iran.
Conclusion: as of now i think its too early to decide anything. the biden admin haven't taken any important decisions but my own opinion is that GCC block will get cozy with pak due to the middlefinger shown by the USA, china Iran project might go on the back seat as there's no imminent threat to china from biden which will bring india again closer to iran. Pakistan should just build the fence and try to bring piece btw IEA and Kabul regime.
Congratulations to all the CPEC and BRI beneficiaries for their booming economies.
Sarcasm? 😂
 

PAKISTANFOREVER

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Pakistan’s absorption of Gilgit-Baltistan has always been illegal. Increasingly, however, the neglected region could get the last laugh.

by Michael Rubin

Chinese president Xi Jinping visited the Pakistani capital Islamabad on April 20, 2015, to sign fifty-one memorandums of understanding that formed the core of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that together were worth about $46 billion. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed the initial agreement, current Prime Minister Imran Khan dove into the relationship he inherited enthusiasm. “CPEC is great opportunity for Pakistan. CPEC connects us to China which is one of the biggest markets,” he stated. Asad Umar, his minister of planning, spoke of the benefits Pakistan would reap. “CPEC is being developed in a way that it cannot just be a stimulus to our economic growth but also provides Pakistan basis for regional integration,” Umar said. While the project has come at tremendous cost to Pakistan’s sovereignty—China increasingly looks at and treats Pakistan as a vassal state—perhaps the greatest losers in CPEC are those living in Gilgit–Baltistan.

Pakistan seized Gilgit-Baltistan in October 1947, after the new Pakistani government sent military irregulars into the region and seized it along with a portion of Kashmir. Initially, most Gilgitis rejected their inclusion into Pakistan, but Pakistani authorities ran roughshod over their concerns. In the 1949 Karachi Agreement, the government of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir ceded full control over the defense and foreign policy of Gilgit-Baltistan to the Pakistani central government.

Twenty-five years later, Islamabad abrogated the State Subject Rule, which prevents outsiders from seeking permanent residency, for Gilgit-Baltistan. The result has been slow-motion sectarian and ethnic cleansing. In 1948, when Pakistan invaded, Gilgit-Baltistan was at least 85 percent Shiite; that number has since fallen dramatically and is now likely below 50 percent.

While CPEC has saddled Pakistan with debt, it has not lived up to its ambitions, leaving Pakistan to face the inevitability of mortgaging sovereignty further to China or international financial institutions. Gilgit-Baltistan, however, which the Pakistani government touted as the “Gateway to CPEC,” is now symbolic of CPEC’s false promises to the already neglected region.

While Gilgit is geographically essential to CPEC’s success and Pakistani authorities pledged development along the highway, none materialized. Nor did promised opportunities in terms of education, employment and welfare materialize. Instead, Pakistan’s major political parties have siphoned off most of the cash and the associated projects to their own political strongholds in Punjab, Sindh, and other regions. At the last minute, for example, Islamabad canceled plans for a Gilgit-Chitral road in favor of a four-lane, fifty-mile highway between Chakdara to Fatehpur in Swat. Imran Khan even acquiesced to China sending four hundred thousand construction workers to Gilgit-Baltistan at the expense of local labor.

For Gilgit-Baltistan the problem has not only been a failure to reap benefits from CPEC but also that Khan’s desire to please China has meant a net loss. At the behest of Chinese mining companies, for example, Pakistan has canceled the licenses of local miners. Chinese developers have also displaced thousands of residents without compensation.

Here, Khan’s cynicism toward Gilgit-Baltistan and poor management may ultimately hurt CPEC more. By diverting funds from the Gilgit-Chitral road, Khan has forced the region to remain dependent on a single highway, one that angry locals can easily and repeatedly block. At best, this may disrupt CPEC’s timeline further but at worst, it could make many other projects unviable. Pakistan’s absorption of Gilgit-Baltistan has always been illegal. Increasingly, the neglected region could get the last laugh.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a frequent author for the National Interest.


That is right folks. The pain and anguish for the US deep state is multiplying on a daily basis. The Americans are going to fall very low in their appeasment of India. It would be very casual to laugh it off and claim that Rubin is an Indian paid content writer. Surely Rubin is paid to write pro-India articles, but he is willing to do it because he along with so many Western intelligentsia fully back Indian vitriol. This isn't merely some emotional outburst. These are genuine feelings and the hate for Pakistan is real. You have US deep state elements who are willing to risk it all. The nasty propaganda is meant to create a rift between Baloch, Sindhi and now Kashmiri Pakistanis. Notice how subtly and cunningly the Americans are crafting a plot to sow hatred among Pakistanis belonging to various ethnicities and regions. The Americans are hellbent on their objective to sow bloodshed and anarchy in Pakistan along ethnic and religious lines.

Additionally, the Americans and their Western counterparts provide refuge and support to various anti-state and separatist elements. PTM, BLA and MQM are a handful of examples where Western nations don't shy away from supporting their paid puppets.

Pakistan has a big challange ahead. The challange is to break the shackles. All reliance on US/Western nations must be broken. Unless Pakistan has no desire to change the current path of Western blackmail and sanctions.




It's even deeper than that. Once CPEC is completed the americans/West can NEVER again be a threat to China as there as the effect of China facing a blockade at the Straights of Malacca disappears. That is a crippling blow to american strategic and hegemonic goals.
 

TheSnakeEatingMarkhur

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Does anyone have any information regarding the fence and how many forts till now have been constructed? On both pak-iran-afg border.
Durand line fence is 80% complete... Iran Border fence is 40% complete..

Forts Idk but surely are being done with its pace... see DG ISPRs recent press conference ge talked about it in details...
 

Silverblaze

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Absorption Illegal?

Gilgit scouts revolted under a british major and requested Pakistan to send some political agent.

Pakistani bureaucracy in a typical incompetent fashion sent the agent after two weeks.

How can someone ignore such a major detail?

This is where we need an army of online professionals who would either force retraction of this story for being inaccurate or make it useless.
 

Dalit

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Absorption Illegal?

Gilgit scouts revolted under a british major and requested Pakistan to send some political agent.

Pakistani bureaucracy in a typical incompetent fashion sent the agent after two weeks.

How can someone ignore such an major detail?

This is where we need an army of online professionals who would either force retraction of this story for being inaccurate or make it useless.
The Americans are going to say and do a lot of henious stuff to prop up India. They are going to ignore historical facts and even lie through their teeth to appease India. This is just one small example.
 

Silverblaze

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The Americans are going to say and do a lot of henious stuff to prop up India. They are going to ignore historical facts and even lie through their teeth to appease India. This is just one small example.
This is where we need to burst their bubble. Sadly the govt or military keep harping about hybrid warfare but do nothing to counteract it.
 

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