DevelopmentGilgit - Baltistan

India for opening of Kargil-Skardu route

New Delhi, Jul 23 (PTI) India today sought opening of the Kargil-Skardu route between India and Pakistan for passenger traffic on humanitarian basis as well as to counter the “virus” of extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have continued to press for opening the Kargil-Skardu route for passenger traffic and eventually as a full-fledged communication corridor”, Shyam Saran, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a conference on “Society, Culture and Politics in the Karakoram Himalayas.”

“This will not only serve a humanitarian purpose but also help counter the virus of extremism and militancy,” he said.

The economic prospects of the Karakoram communities would brighten greatly if traditional trade routes could be re-opened, he said. Source

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  1. This is a good news to hear that the Kargil-Skardu route is being opened in order to bring different kinds of prosperity in the mountain regions and linking the long separated ethno-linguistic communities.

    A neo-great-game seems to start, too reminding us the former imperial games in the South and Central Asia. Sino-Pak friendship highway (KKH) is being expanded and the Chinese seem to live in the region for a long time. Indo-Pak relationship may get improved after opening and improving the Kargil-Skardu road. Afghanistan’s claim over a huge area of Pakistan would reinvigorate, if peace settlment is dreamt therein. US and European interests would intensify sooner or later the situations in Central Asia, esp. Afghanistan, gets improved. In such situations, among different powers, the Eid sacrificers (qurbani jo bakro) would be prepared to sacrifice, too.

    There is a Wakhi proverb, it says: “war da war en dos, tokhli tra mulung guendos”: means rams are in clash/strike with each other, but the small he-sheep in the middle is to die.

    I wish these regional powers to be strong and sincere with each others and with their respective communities. I also wish these powers to make an enabling environnment, though could not be achieved so soon, to pave the political way for the having no visa system among these states as we can see in the context of European Union. Unfortunately, here the extremist groups hamper upon such initiatives. These extremist groups are not only the relgious militants, but rather also the political extremists, ethnical and lingual extremists and the like.

    Let’s hope for best outcomes from such international initiatives, esp in the disputed regions.

  2. This is a longstanding demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to open up all trading and transit routes passing through this region.

    Only 100 years ago, there were many passes served as transit: kilik-mintaka between China and GB, Yourshod pass between Afghanistan and GB, Darkut and Ishkoman-baroghal pass, shimshal pass between Yarkand and GB, Astore for traveling to Srinagar, besides the current passes down linking NWFP and Pakistan with GB.

    Pakistan, china, India and Afghanistan should opt for opening up all passes with neighboring countries to promote trade in the region and to undo the physical isolation of the GB, imposed during the British colonial period and cold war period.

    Amin Beg

  3. It,s a good news for the people of GB, and it would be a solid base for economic change in the region.

  4. Dear All!!

    Good or bad will come later on. Is Chacha wants to contain China with in the Boarder of all these Passes-KHUNJARAV, KILIK etc.

    The first question commes in my mind- Why India choose this time for the statement??? If business or economy why not before???

    Do the people of GB survive-if not what will be the next.


  5. It indeed is a breaking and welcome news! One would hope that better human sense prevails this time on both sides of the border. The peoples on both sides of the control line have been suffering a lot for the last 6 decades, because of the futile friction between both the countries for so long now.

    The benefits of the proposed opening of the old and traditional trade routes connecting Gilgit – Baltistan with its neighboring areas are many and enormous. Opening of Kargil – Skardu and other many such trade routes would prove to be opening of corridors of socio-economic development, progress and prosperity to the peoples of the area at large. The powers that be across the border should avoid wasting more precious time in political wrangling, but to take concrete and bold steps in the interest of greater peace and tranquility of the border areas.Let’s hope that this breaking news does not prove to be a rumour.

    101-yr-old waits for Kargil-Skardu road to reopen
    Batalik (Kargil) Jul 29 A 101-year-old woman– who bore the brunt of three wars with Pakistan– eagerly awaits the reopening of Kargil-Skardu road to fulfil her last wish of meeting her estranged brother in PoK.

    “My last wish is to meet my dear brother and his family in Skardu before I die,” said a teary eyed Kulsuma Bi as she sat along with her great-grand children on the roof top of her two-storeyed house in Batalik.

    “The Kargil-Skardu road should be re-opened to facilitate meeting of families on both sides of the border,” said Kulsuma who has witnessed the 1965 and 1971 wars besides the Kargil intrusion that led to devastation and dislocation in this region.

  7. Just to let everyone know, Pakistan said no to the request. This was a lost opportunity to build GB’s economy as India is an economic power of Asia.

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