by Sajjad Shaukat
India which has already been supporting insurgency in Pakistan’s province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and separatism in Balochistan has also accelerated plot, with the help of some external powers in backing the minority nationalist elements of the Northern Areas, who claim an independent Balawaristan, consisting of Gilgit and Baltistan.
It is of particular attention that strategic location of the Northern Areas is of a greater geo-political importance for Pakistan, linking major parts of South Asia, Central Asia and South East Asia. Besides India, Pakistan’s clandestine rivals, America and Afghanistan on one hand and its close friend, China on the other also consider it as strategically important. In the present era of economic wars, the region is the backbone of our country’s economy, and trade with China entailing future partnership with the Central Asian States. Pakistan imports almost all kind of items from China via Karakorum Highway. These areas are significant in respect of natural resources containing precious minerals such as gold, ruby, emerald, iron ore and uranium. Water is another major source. Pakistan’s major source of water is River Indus which flows through this region. It was also due to the ideal strategic location of this region that India had occupied the Siachen Glacier, deputing its forces below 50 and 60 degree freezing point peaks, and compelled Pakistan to defend its Northern Areas.
As regards India, just like the separatist groups of Balochistan and the Pakhtunkhwa, Indian secret agency, RAW has played a key role in the Northern Areas in organizing a number of nationalist groups such as Gilgit-Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA), Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) etc.? and particularly Balawaristan National Front (BNF) which plays a leading role, claiming that Chitral and Kohistan are inseparable parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, known as Balawaristan.
New Delhi and Kabul with the covert support of Washington have already been creating lawlessness in various regions of Pakistan by fuelling sectarianism?are also converting our Northern Areas into another volatile place where they have been manipulating anti-Pakistan sentiments to achieve their secret strategic goals.
Apart from other external secret agencies, RAW which has became most active in availing the anti-Muslim phenomena of world terrorism is particularly using US war on terror against Pakistan by supporting the separatist elements with a view to either disintegrating or weakening the federation of our country. So far as the Northern Areas of the country are concerned, in this context, RAW which had performed a major role in forming Balawaristan National Front (BNF) in 1992 has been providing it with political and financial support including arms and ammunition. The sole aim is to promote the agenda of an independent Republic of Balawaristan from Kohistan to Chitral and Khunjrab to Skardu which also includes Ladakh. Complete at SOURCE