With the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) progressing at full steam, senior leader from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Abdul Hamid Khan has asserted that the "dream" of the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of building the CPEC would never come true.
"If you think by arresting 10-15 people, you will be able to suppress our movement against CPEC, it is your dream. If Pakistan thinks that the Army and the ISI will crush people and make CPEC a reality by occupying Gilgit-Baltistan, it is nothing but day-dreaming," Khan said.
People are aware that Gilgit-Baltistan is disputed. The world knows that atrocities are committed on us. By arresting 15-20 people, you are thinking that the CPEC will be built and you will get 42 billion in your pockets, then forget it," he added.
The strategic significance of the region under the CPEC, in terms of trade and investment, has increased more than ever. The fate of is interlined with the Kashmir Issue in respect to the provision of constitutional rights and provincial autonomy. However,
Gilgit-Baltistan's concerns regarding the formation of the CPEC have been voiced by their leaders time and again. The right to compensation for the acquisition of community land and other constitutional rights are some of the issues often raised by the leaders.
Some land owners had also filed a complaint before Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against the forced acquisition of the land they inherited for the CPEC project by the GB administration.
The land in question, which is surrounded by the Himalayas and the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, was selected for the Special Economic Zone of the CPEC.
According to the Dawn, the complaint filed by Shah Jehan Mushapa and other residents of the Maqpon Das Village in the Denyuore tehsil in Gilgit said that the GB bureaucracy had, in order to please their rival tribe, forcibly acquired their land, which had been under their possession for generations.
According to the complaint, the locals were given rights of the land in 1893. It said the GB administration had selected Maqpon Das for the CPEC and acquired the land free of cost.
The complainants said they were not against the CPEC project, but the way the GB administration acquired their land was unlawful and unacceptable.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)