Posted on 23 October 2011.
Source (AP) Pakistan forced an Indian military helicopter to land Sunday for violating its airspace near the disputed border with Kashmir and briefly took its four-member crew into custody, Pakistani military officials said. India said the helicopter veered off course because of bad weather, and Pakistan allowed the aircraft to return soon after the incident. Pakistan and India are rival nuclear powers who have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The relationship has improved somewhat in recent months, especially regarding trade, but there is still significant distrust on both sides. The helicopter was intercepted about 12 miles (20 kilometers) inside Pakistani territory, said a Pakistani military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. It was forced to land near Skardu, a town in Gilgit-Baltistan that is close to K2, the second highest mountain in the world, said Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas. Skardu is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of U.N.-drawn Line of Control separating Kashmir into areas controlled by Pakistan and India. India said the helicopter strayed across the Line of Control because of bad weather and landed in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, according to a statement on the Ministry of External Affairs website. The three pilots and their crew chief were taken into custody but were later allowed to return home with their helicopter, said Abbas. Two of the three wars between Pakistan and India have been fought over Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory. Both countries claim all of Kashmir.
Posted in Baltistan Skardu
Posted on 04 September 2011.
Source(PakistanToday) The change in the governance status of Pakistan’s Northern Areas was Pakistan’s signal to India to jumpstart backchannel talks on Kashmir, a US Embassy cable said. The cable had been sent by the US Embassy to its government on 1-9-2009 and was released by Wikileaks on August 30.
“The intention of the government of Pakistan in making the reform is to signal Pakistan’s willingness to jump-start the back-channel talks on Kashmir to India. The back-channel deal under President Musharraf would have granted the Northern Areas to Pakistan and ceded Indian-held Jammu and Ladakh to India,” the cable said.“The actual reforms for self-rule, as they are being touted, will appeal to the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan who will appreciate, at a minimum, recognition of the name they themselves use to describe their home. Whether the reforms will meet the other purpose suggested by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan Awan, of curbing the appeal of Talibanisation, remains to be seen,” the cable said.
Prime Minister Gilani had announced on August 29 changes to the governance of Pakistan’s Northern Areas, the northern-most region of the country. The region will be henceforth known as Gilgit-Baltistan under the new Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Government Ordinance of 2009.
Posted in Gilgit Baltistan
Posted on 23 July 2011.
Source (The News) Pakistani security officials have got hold of some important documents related to a plot of the Indian intelligence service, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), aimed at alienating people of Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan and separate the province comprising erstwhile Northern Areas from rest of the country, The News reliably learnt here on Friday.
According to the information, some anti-Pakistan foreign forces are running a covert campaign in Gilgit-Baltistan as part of a conspiracy to internally weaken Pakistan and separating the Northern Areas, known across the world for the natural beauty, from the country. When this correspondent sought comments of a senior official of a security institution on the highly sensitive information received by The News, he provided such information and mentioned such points and individuals that cannot be reported because of the sensitivity of their nature.
This reporter also got access to a strategy devised by RAW and another neighbouring country of Pakistan with the aim of creating tension between China and Pakistan. Interestingly, the security authorities have also caught a chart prepared for spoiling the exemplary and time-tested relations between Pakistan and China. “Targeting the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, which has a total of 34 members, was also a part of the plot,” the sources revealed, requesting anonymity.
The sources disclosed some parts of the plot, as, according to them, the security apparatus of the country is still working on the matter. It, however, transpired from the information provided by the sources that the Indian lobby is proactively working to target Gilgit-Baltistan and launch a so-called liberation movement in the region. “All this is being done to isolate Pakistan in the comity of nations, and the creation of misunderstanding between China and Pakistan to spoil the two countries’ strong friendship is part of the same policy,” said the sources, adding that “such forces have, however, so far failed in achieving any success in accomplishment of their spiteful agenda”.
Posted in Gilgit Baltistan
Posted on 16 April 2011.
Source(The Nation) Whether or not the elevation of the Federally Administered Northern Areas to provincial status, and renaming as Gilgit-Baltistan, has met the demands of the local population, it has certainly provided India a new battlefield on which it can fight Pakistan, with the added advantage that it also involves India taking on an anti-Chinese posture. This further involves the USA, which sees India as its future regional counterweight against China, in a position where it works against Pakistani interests. According to a report in this newspaper, Indian attention is already moving in this direction, intercepted messages have shown that the so-called Balwaristan National Front, or BNF, will attempt to disrupt the Pakistan-China trade, which is an important part of the economy of the area, through demonstrations.
Expatriates from the area in the USA are to play their role by supporting a certain Imtiaz who is playing a role for the independence of the area. This is evidence that the USA is involved in the Indian machinations, and wants to foment trouble in the area, where it fears the growth of Chinese influence. Apart from its opposition to China, India is also only too happy to involve the USA in a covert operation that puts it in opposition to Pakistan in the disputed territory of Kashmir, of which Gilgit-Baltistan is a part, the former Gilgit Wizarat of the old state, which broke away from Indian control in 1947.
Posted in Gilgit Baltistan