By Paras Bisht, New Delhi, July 20 : The huge ecological imbalance has plagued the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Frequent floods, landslides and other natural disasters are a now common sight.
The Gilgit-Baltistan region, where China is heavily investing in several projects, is losing its sheen as a hotspot for natural resources
But the dreary picture seems rosy to the Pakistani establishment, who clearly and intentionally ignore the susceptible ecological threats to the region due to over exploitation and poor handling of the situation.
The Gilgit-Baltistan region, where China is heavily investing in several projects, is losing its sheen as a hotspot for natural resources. The foreign investors have over-exploited the region for economic gains, leading to ecological imbalance.
But the much touted USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic corridor has hardly benefited the local population, which continues to face the apathy of the administration.
The locals here believe the frequency of natural disasters is gradually increasing, thereby putting their lives at risk.
“People’s consensus is very necessary. They are one’s who face natural calamity every now and then. In 2010, rains killed thousands of people and many were left homeless. In 2015, people again witnessed heavy rains and floods,” said Brigadier (Retd.) V. Mahalingam.
“In the Himalayan mountain ranges, there are 5000 glaciers and out of that 52 are in serious danger and there is a possibility of these ranges getting burst. Therefore, the experts are worried how China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is seriously harming these glaciers,” he added.
The people living in the region blame the Pakistani establishment for exploiting the ecologically sensitive region.
Several people in the region have witnessed the dreary picture of unemployment, lack of educational facilities and other such development activities.
The story of neglect doesn’t stop here. Apart from poor infrastructure, the houses and the roads that were destroyed in the recent flash floods remain in shambles.
The people believe that the Pakistani establishment has sold the region to China for economic gains.
Brigadier (Retd.) Mahalingam further said Pakistan is totally dependent upon China, adding that is the reason why Islamabad is allowing China to do what so ever in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“For example the Nuclear Industrial Complex and the Nuclear Weapon program of Pakistan, all these programs are possible due to the technological support provided by China. The military industry complex in Pakistan which produces tanks and fighter aircrafts again is possible due to China’s technical support. And most important is that Pakistan thinks that in the event of war with India, China will open a front in favour of it and provide international support and consensus,” he added.
The Pakistani establishment has always denied any development model for the Gilgit-Baltistan.
The military rulers run the puppy government from Islamabad which hardly cares about the interests of the locals.
The military establishment is involved in various activities throughout the region for its own nefarious plans.
“The military’s commercial interest lies in the CPEC project. Military establishment in Pakistan runs major commercial projects like the one dealing with works and other with the provision of transport. It hopes to get some contracts out of the CPEC projects. It is for this reason that the Pakistani Army has demanded that an organization exclusively to see the CPEC project must be set-up.” said Brigadier (Retd.) Mahalingam.
In an effort to provide legal cover to the multi-billion dollar Chinese investments, the Pakistan Government is even considering elevating the constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, the local population is completely against it.
Gilgit-Baltistan region was illegally acquired by Pakistan in 1947. Since then the beleaguered region has suffered badly as the administration has failed miserably to provide basic facilities to the local population.