The United States is tacitly supporting Chinese investments in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and even those at Gwadar port, say sources. The revelation comes at a time when the Barack Obama administration has decided on selling eight F-16s to Pakistan ignoring India’s displeasure.
US envoy to India Richard Varma said that the Chinese investment in Gilgit Baltistan region needs to be watched carefully. “I know the Chinese investment in the region has been a source of disagreement and contention. I think we have to watch this carefully. The fact is that at least in Afghanistan for example, lot of investment in infrastructure and energy and health is needed. So civilian investment is welcome.”
“I understand the concern about the transport corridor and I understand the concern about other elements of that cooperation that could cause security risks. We are watching both very carefully,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a move that is bound to raise hackles in India, Pakistan is working on raising the constitutional status of its occupied Gilgit-Baltistan to address China’s concerns over the $46-billion economic corridor through the strategic region.
The strategic region in the north provides the only vital link with China. It is also on the key route of the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), linking western China to southern Pakistan’s Gwadar Port with a network of roads, highways, railways and investment parks.
If implemented, the mountainous region would find a mention in Pakistan’s Constitution for the first time. According to analysts, its new status could have far-reaching ramifications – change of Pakistan’s traditional stance on Kashmir and also possible increase of friction with India.