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Pakistan and Kashmir – Trans-Himalayan Trade, International Law; Commitments and Betrayals

Nayyar
Nayyar N Khan is a US based human rights and peace activist of Kashmiri origin. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

By Nayyar N Khan

The hysteria surrounding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to be built through Gilgit Baltistan, appeared with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan. The visit has spawned an animated discourse among the concerned parties regarding the legal status of route and corridor’s future. Chinese President reaffirmed the previously announced commitment, worth $46 billion, towards the CPEC. The CPEC is considered a substantial project that seeks to bolster Sino-Pakistan bilateral bonds and further consolidate their premeditated ties. The corridor will run through Gilgit Baltistan, part of the erstwhile Princely state of Jammu Kashmir declared disputed by the United Nations and accepted by both India and Pakistan. In due course, this geographical reality of the CPEC could potentially impinge upon Jammu Kashmir’s geopolitical calculations, territorial integrity, promised referendum under UN patronage and pose a strategic challenge to the global peace and security.  Pakistan as being a party to the Jammu Kashmir conflict has an obligation to uphold and recognize the disputed nature of entire State of Jammu Kashmir till the final settlement of the dispute.  If it walks away from this obligation it shrinks itself as a liable nation state which would be a grave breach to international law and Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. A country emasculates its raison d’être if either it cannot provide minimally acceptable governance to its own people, or is derelict with regard to the internationally acknowledged rights of a people, for the effective support of which it assumed legal responsibility.

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