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Internal dissent rises against CPEC in Pakistan

15 May 2017 | Written by Gaurav Jeyaraman; Edited by Anupama Vijayakumar
Internal dissent against CPEC

Protests have broken out across the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region against the CPEC project.

Organizations including the Karakoram Students Organisation, Balawaristan National Students Organization, Gilgit Baltistan United Movement and Balawaristan National Front have been protesting against "Chinese imperialism" in the region.

They said it was Pakistan's attempt to annexe the region.

They have called the project, a violation of human rights of the region's residents.

In context: Internal dissent against CPEC

AboutWhat is OBOR?

The One Belt One Road Initiative, later renamed the Belt and Road Initiative, has two components: a land based Silk Road Economic Belt and a sea based Maritime Silk Road.

It aims to connect Asia and Europe through a network of industrial and trade corridors, enhancing Eurasia's connectivity with China.

Through OBOR, China plans to boost international influence and achieve industrial capacity co-operation.

DetailsWhat is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor?

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an under construction, multi-billion dollar development project which seeks to improve Sino-Pak connectivity and enhance regional trade.

The project envisages the creation of energy pipelines, road-and-rail links and industrial trade corridors between China and the Pakistani port of Gwadar.

It runs through PoK.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Nawaz Sharif announced the initiative on 22 May 2013 in Islamabad.

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The CPEC and OBOR

CPEC is regarded as the link between the land-based and sea-based routes within OBOR. It includes multi-billion dollar projects aimed at improving Sino-Pak connectivity and boosting trade, and plans for energy pipelines and road- railway linkages between Gwadar and Karachi in Pakistan to Western China.

IndiaIndia's stance on the CPEC

The proposed project passes through disputed territory in J&K, through Gilgit Baltistan.

China had always maintained that J&K was a bilateral problem; however in Dec'14, it announced the closure of the strategic Khunjerab Pass and in the process referred to Gilgit Baltistan as part of Pakistan.

India has vehemently opposed the Kashgar-Gwadar CPEC route which entails energy and infrastructure projects within PoK.

15 May 2017Internal dissent rises against CPEC in Pakistan

China building military bases in Gilgit?

Sources stated that China has also begun construction of military bases in Gilgit Baltistan with support from the Pakistani government. This is contradictory to China's claims that it would not violate anyone's territorial integrity.