Is China behind Pakistan’s plan to annex Kashmir’s Gilgit-Baltistan?

Is China behind Pakistan’s plan to annex Kashmir’s Gilgit-Baltistan?

  • 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.