Vice President European Parliament Concerned About Environment in Gilgit-BaltistanOctober 27, 2015
The text of the letter follows:
Dear Mr. Schultz,
In Gilgit-Baltistan, China is involved in the construction of large-scale dams, telecommunication development and mining activities. It is constructing highways and railroad systems between Xinjiang and the port cities of Karachi and Gawadar through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir. This corridor will enable the flow of Iranian fuel northward into Xinjiang as well as Kazakh and Russian gas into Pakistan. Both the Chinese and Pakistani governments characterize these efforts as revolutionizing economic development of Pakistan. Despite these rosy claims, many such projects have led to increased insecurity and confrontations between Chinese developers and the locals in Gilgit-Baltistan.
It has come to notice that there is a lot of resentment among locals in the region of Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir over the perceived negative environmental impact. The companies assigned the job of managing and operating these heavy investment projects have not been tasked by the government to take care of environmental concerns. As part of the work, most goods are transported using vehicles that cause air pollution, and a huge human health cost has been incurred as a result of this project. The noise generated by machinery during construction of the project, and by vehicles responsible for transporting goods, is also a potential nuisance for people residing in the region. The locals have protested many times, but the Government of Pakistan has turned a deaf ear to their voices and arrested the activists. Therefore, the European Parliament should urgently look into the concerns of the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir.
Source: The Office of Vice President Ryszard Czarnecki