Political leaders from Gilgit Baltistan have called for an immediate end to China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative which they termed as the road on which COVID-19 virus travelled to destroy not only Gilgit but large parts of the world.
Bordering China, the occupied Gilgit Baltistan is worst hit by coronavirus pandemic due to the large presence of Chinese workers and army personnel in the region. They are engaged in the construction projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
"The border between China and Gilgit Baltistan should be closed as the spread of coronavirus in the region is on increase," said Dr Amjad Mirza, a Pakistan occupied Kashmir political activist
He added, "So far more than 21 people are confirmed to be infected with coronavirus but the actual figure is much higher. No masks or sanitiser is available in Gilgit Baltistan."
The people of Gilgit Baltistan continue to oppose CPEC project since its launch by China and Pakistan. They call it a project to exploit their resources, including the land.
Senge H Sering, a political activist from Gilgit Baltistan said: "Gilgit Baltistan is a direct neighbour of China's Xinjiang and its inhabitants are getting Coronavirus infection transmitted from a completely unexpected location like Iran."
He said, "Given Pakistan's dismal economic situation, locals are distrustful about lack of preparedness that could lead to thousands of Corona-related deaths in the coming weeks."
He said that the people of Gilgit Baltistan feel vulnerable due to activities on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
According to a report, China's One Belt One Road is a major contributor to the spread of Coronavirus infection in Italy and Iran. Despite being so far away from China, the cause of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in these countries can be easily explained by OBOR linkages with a mass movement of Chinese workers who carried the virus into these OBOR backing nations.
Both Italy and Iran are major stakeholders in this project.
The human-to-human spread of the virus, known as the novel coronavirus, began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has spread to 186 countries and has killed over 13,000 persons worldwide as per latest data on the World Health Organisation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)