Pakistan today said it is planning to declare the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region as the fifth province of the country, a move that may raise concerns in India as it borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Paksitan's minister for inter-provincial coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told Geo TV that the decision was on recommendation of a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
"The committee recommended that Gilgit-Baltistan should be made a province of Pakistan," Pirzada said.
He also said that a constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes.
Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. It has a regional assembly and an elected Chief Minister.
The move may raise concerns in India as the disputed region borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
It is believed that China's concerns about the unsettled status of Gilgit-Baltistan prompted Pakistan to change its status.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)