Pak to change Gilgit Baltistan’s status in response to scrapping of Art 370 in J-K: EFSAS

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Amsterdam [Netherlands], September 26: In a “belated response” to India’s moves to nullify Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan is turning Gilgit Baltistan into a province by giving it representation on all constitutional bodies, according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).

EFSAS, a European think tank in its commentary said that the decision could be seen as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “belated response” to India’s moves to scrap Articles 370 and 35A. It said that decision to usurp Gilgit Baltistan could only have been made in Rawalpindi, not in Islamabad.

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“More importantly, however, it is the constant Chinese pressure on the military establishment to ensure a proper legal cover under Pakistan’s legal jurisdiction for its investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which enters Pakistan from China through Gilgit Baltistan, that has forced the establishment to act,” the European think tank argued.

Recently, Ali Amin Gandapur, Minister of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs had announced the government’s decision to “elevate Gilgit-Baltistan to the status of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights, including its representation in the Senate and the National Assembly”.

“After consultation with all stakeholders, the federal government has decided in principle to give constitutional rights to Gilgit-Baltistan,” Gandapur had said.