Is Pok (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) Heading for a Chok (Chinese Occupied Kashmir)? - A Critical Review
In POK, Gilgit and Baltistan are under Pakistani military rule. Democratic activists there want a legislature and
other institutions without restrictions, where the elected legislature controls only 4 out of 56 subjects covered in the state
Constitution. The rest are under the jurisdiction of a "Kashmir Council" appointed by the president of Pakistan. Pakistan
illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley, around 5,180 sq km, to China in a 1963 border agreement. From the very outset, India
was less than categorical about its desire to resume control of the Gilgit-Baltistan area, though Nehru did insist that as part of
the UN resolution requiring the removal of Pakistani forces from J&K, the Pakistani regulars and irregulars ought to be
removed from Gilgit-Baltistan as well. In 1970, Pakistan changed the name of the region to “Northern Areas”, but kept it
detached from Azad Kashmir. But while AJK was given a semblance of constitutional government right from the outset,
Gilgit Baltistan was in a constitutional limbo, or simply a colony of Pakistan. In 2009, Pakistan finally sought to give some
legal cover to this relationship by passing a Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order in the Cabinet and
getting presidential assent for it. The order allegedly granted self-rule to the people by creating a legislative assembly and a
council, yet did not provide for any constitutional means of linking it to Pakistan. Islamabad believes that this way it is able
to maintain its somewhat convoluted stand on Jammu & Kashmir.
Keywords - POK, Gilgit-Baltistan, Shaksgam Valley, Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir, AJK.