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By Ashish Kumar

India as a country has the tradition of not learning from the history. Some people in the country wonder; why India has suddenly brought Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan in to its focus area? We all know the importance of Balochistan (due to Gwadar Port) but have we ever realized the Geo Sratagical importance of Gilgit Baltistan. China realized it and gave birth to a concept of OBOR. In fact OBOR is nothing new but old wine in new bottle. Let us see how?

Here are some interesting facts about Gilgit Baltistan:-

Gilgit, which is now in POK, is the only place in the world that is connected to 5 countries. Afghanistan, Tajikistan (which was once part of Russia), Pakistan, India and Tibet – China.

In fact, the importance of Jammu and Kashmir is not due to Jammu, not due to Kashmir or Ladakh, but due to Gilgit-Baltistan.”

One who controlled Hindukush controlled Jammu Kashmir. All the invasions in the history of India, from the Greeks till today (Shaka, Han, Kushan, Mughal), came from Gilgit.

Our ancestor understood the importance of Jammu and Kashmir, who knew that if India had to be protected,  the enemy must be kept away from Hindukush i.e. Gilgit-Baltistan.

At some point of time  the United States wanted to sit in Gilgit.

Britain wanted to build its base in Gilgit.

Russia also showed interest in Gilgit. Pakistan had long ago promised Gilgit to Russia in 1965.

Today China controls Gilgit.

Unfortunately, the significance of this Gilgit is understood by the whole world except India, because we are not even imagining that if India wants to stay safe then we need Gilgit-Baltistan in any condition. Today we are thinking of becoming an economic power. Do you know from Gilgit by Road to Dubai is 5000 Km,  Delhi 1400 Km, Mumbai 2800 Km,  RUSSIA 3500 Km, Chennai  3800 Km and London 8000 Km.

When India was called Golden Bird, 85% of our trade  was  through Gilgit. The land  routes were connected to Central Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Africa, everywhere  through Gilgit-Baltistan. Today we are unable to lay the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) gas line. TAPI would have never been required, if we had Gilgit. There is always approach to Tajikistan ahead of Gilgit.

Himalaya has 10 big peaks and 8 of these 10 are in Gilgit-Baltistan. After China’s occupation of Tibet, alternate Water Resources are all in Gilgit-Baltistan.

You will be amazed to know Gilgit Baltistan has large reserve of uranium and gold.

Do you know in Gilgit – The average age of the people living in Baltistan, Ladakh is the highest in the world. People here outlive other people in the world.

Unfortunately, we always speak Kashmir and do not speak whole of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir which also consists of Gilgit-Baltistan. It is said that the area which is POK in the occupation of Pakistan is 79000 sq. Km.

That is why Pakistan, who repeatedly bats forf Kashmir will never admit whether Gilgit-Baltistan is part of J & K? You ask.No answer will be found

All of you must have seen Pakistan providing every help to Kashmir but not to Gilgit. Realising  the importance of Gilgit, for the first time, the issue of POK was raised during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government’s rule. Then again, 10 years again remained silent and again when Narendra Modi  came to power, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj raised this issue in Parliament.

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