- Islamabad’s bid to make the area its fifth province will at the very least exacerbate military tensions with New Delhi, analysts say
- The gambit will be seen by India and the US as being greatly influenced by China
Pakistan’s government is putting the finishing touches on plans to “provisionally” make the Gilgit-Baltistan region of disputed Kashmir part of the country, risking another high-stakes showdown with India that could lead to war.
Analysts focused on South Asia said the decision to grant interim provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan – made during a meeting last week between government ministers, opposition leaders and the country’s powerful military – would at the very least exacerbate military tensions between India and Pakistan. The neighbours have fought two wars over Kashmir since attaining independence from British colonial rule in August 1947.