Gilgit-Baltistan will grow if it physically integrates with Ladakh: Senge Sering

The region under Pakistani occupation will grow significantly if it gets integrated with Union Territory of Ladakh, according to a political activist from Gilgit Baltistan, Senge H. Sering.
“We firmly believe that we were the part of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1947, Maharaja (Hari Singh) was our legal heir, the whole region (of Jammu & Kashmir) belonged to him and he acceded to India following a legal path and it was not some kind of abrupt or arbitrary decision as it was all done as per the British law”, said Senge, director of the Washington-based Institute of Gilgit Baltistan Studies.
“Till August 5 (2019), we were an integral part of Jammu & Kashmir but after the amendment was done in Article 370 and the state was bifurcated into two union territories, so, now we are the part of Ladakh union territory”, he added.
“Moreover, as I see myself culturally associated with Ladakh, I feel that the decision that was taken on 5th August after Ladakh was given the status of Union territory, it will give people a lot of opportunities to grow and if Gilgit-Baltistan gets physically integrated with Ladakh, it will be beneficial for us as well. So, I think it’s a very good decision”, he further added.
According to Senge, the world is now aware about the status of Jammu and Kashmir and how Pakistan continues to illegally occupy a major part of the region.
He said: “For the last one-two years, India has started telling the world about the relationship they have with Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Earlier, people across the world like America had started believing that Line of Control had become the border and Gilgit Baltistan was a province of Pakistan”.
“If Emma Nicholson (European Parliament Rapporteur) wouldn’t have worked this much then everybody had started considering it (GB) as the province of Pakistan and had nothing to do with Kashmir and therefore nobody would have given preference to any such thing. So, India will take a few years to make this issue stronger”, said the activist.
Senge further said, “Several countries like America, England, France and all others who are the members of P5 (five permanent members of the UN) have now understood that GB is not a part of Pakistan. Earlier, America never said that GB is disputed but now it has started saying this, which is a big change in itself at the level of government”.
Many political activists from Gilgit Baltistan and PoK celebrated the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and expressed their support to the developments in the region.
Amjad Ayub Mirza, a political activist said that the amendment of Article 370 has marked the beginning of the end of Pakistan sponsored jihadist violence in Kashmir and has helped the people of PoK to become the part of India.