The multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has repeatedly been touted as the game changer for the Pakistan economy by Islamabad, is in reality, a project being accomplished against the agonies and sufferings of the people of Gilgit- Baltistan.
The CPEC corridor, which traverses through the heart of disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan, has a myriad of under construction projects and various others lined up in the territory of Gilgit Baltistan but the oppressive government of Pakistan has not given even an iota of share to the locals.
Land was seized and an ample compensation amount was promised to the locals. However, they have not been provided even a penny till now.
Malik Zafar, a local resident, said, "We want all what we deserve; don't we have kids? Don't we want to secure our future? Are we not humans? Are we animals? They have been spreading lies. Tell me one region except Pakistan which is getting benifitted from the project. Interests of local people have not been taken into account, Whatever they have been doing is in their interest, tell me one region of Gilgit- Baltistan which is getting benefit because of the (CPEC) project. They have given us nothing on Diamer Bhasha Dam project, we have not been given royalty in it. Our primary demand is that the region should be getting complete royalty in the project."
Reasonable voices have been muzzled by the high-handed measures of the government and rest of the common people have been deceived by making large claims through media channels.
However, nothing which has been claimed by the government has attained by the government.
Shahzad Hussain, a civil society activist, said, "We will just see the containers, there are no schemes; everything is a lie spread by the government. There are no policies in place. We totally condemn it. We have not been counted in any of the CPEC projects. We are here just to breathe smoke. This project has been taken to fill the treasuries of Nawaz Sharif and his family. There are no intentions of a project in Gilgit Baltistan. Khunjerab Pass is our territory, there are no intentions, these are schemes limited to newspapers only."
The people of Gilgit Baltistan are always given a second class treatment and no real work is undertaken by the people sitting in Islamabad for the welfare of these people.
Ebadat Ali, a local politician, said, "They have only one thing to say that we have included Diamer Bhasha Dam and Ghizer-Chitral road in CPEC project for the people of Gilgit Baltistan. I challenge them if they can prove this that project is for us. The reality is that KPK (Kyaber Pakhtunkhwa) is going to benefit from this and they are trying to fool us by calling these project ours. We have nothing except smoke from these two projects and there seems no probability in the future as well for people of the region getting anything and even more atrocious thing is that they want to take our land for free, they are not willing to compensate even for the land they are occupying for these projects."
The people of Gilgit Baltistan are not only deprived of fundamental rights but anyone raising his voice in dissent rightfully seeking his share of rights in the CPEC has suffered the barbarism of Pakistan Army.
Islamabad has resorted to a systematic and diabolic design of violence to crush anyone who dares standing against its projects.
The China-led 51.5 billion dollar multi-layered infrastructure project aims to connect Kashgar in China's western province of Xinjiang, with the port of Gwadar in Balochistan.
The CPEC enters Pakistan from China through the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit Baltistan, the part of undivided Kashmir, and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan in 1948 and claimed by India.