News: Pakistan Prime Minister has officially announced to convert the disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) into a full-fledged province.
- Gilgit Baltistan: It is a region administered by Pakistan as an administrative territory.It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, Afghanistan to the north, China to the east and India to the southeast.
- Background: It was handed over to Pakistan in 1947 by the British army officer of the rank of Colonel who imprisoned Maharaja Hari Singh’s governor in the region and handed over the area for accession to Pakistan.
- Significance: It has a strategic location as it provides land access to China, contains vast reservoirs of fresh water and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) passes through it.
- Why has India protested against this move? India has maintained Gilgit Baltistan region as one of the two parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK).The other one is Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Other Developments by Pakistan in POK:
- Diamer-Bhasha Dam: It is located on the Indus River in northern Pakistan between Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer district in Gilgit Baltistan.It is being built with the help of China.
- Azad Pattan hydel power project: It is a 700 MW hydroelectric project on the Jhelum River in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK).
- Kohala hydropower project: It is a Hydroelectric power project to be built on the Jhelum river.It is being set up by China under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC).