The locals of the Gilgit-Balistan and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir region are showing resentments against the growing Chinese presence in the region. The locals are also protesting against the Pakistan government for taking on great projects in the region with the counter-part Chinese government without consulting the locals.
The locals have recently taken to the streets to protest against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which is a huge project of $40 billion investment from the Chinese government that aims to link western China to southern Pakistan through a network of roads, railway lines and pipelines.
The resentment from the locals have mounted against the fact that China has been exploiting their resources recklessly for their own economic gains. The ambitious project despite drawing huge benefits from the region, the locals have neither been receiving any benefits nor any sign such possibilities.
“People want that at least they should be informed about the project, be taken into confidence so that they get to know what all benefits they will get from this project. We fear that this should not happen as if we sit idle and only count the number of trucks coming from China side and not benefit even a bit,” said Abdul Rehman Bukhari according to TOI.
With the project being titled to bring huge socio-economic development in the regions, the locals have felt cheated by both Pakistan and China. Their anger is also over the fact that the local stakeholders have never been consulted with these projects.
The project is seen as an attempt to exploit the local resources and nothing else as the flocking in of Chinese workers in the region do not even present them job opportunities at the first place.
Important fact is that China has significant economic interest in these disputed regions.
“There is a growing resentment among locals over China’s presence in the region. To fulfill the requirements of the project, the government and the army are forcibly acquiring the ancestral land of the locals in Gilgit-Baltistan.” according to a report in TOI.
The Gilgit-Balistan region was illegally acquired by Pakistan in 1947 and the local population has been suffering with bad administration and poor facilities.