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Brijesh P asked: Why did Pakistan and under what terms and conditions cede the Shaksgam Valley to China? What is the geo-strategic significance of the Valley?

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  • Mandip Singh replies: The Shaksgam Valley or the Trans Karakoram Tract is part of Hunza-Gilgit region of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), and is a disputed territory claimed by India but controlled by Pakistan. It borders Xinjiang Province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the north, the Northern Areas of POK to the south and west, and the Siachen Glacier region to the east.

    The Shaksgam Valley was ceded to China by Pakistan in 1963 when both countries signed a boundary agreement to settle their border differences. However, Article 6 clearly stated that “the two Parties have agreed that after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the sovereign authority concerned will reopen negotiations with the Government of the People's Republic of China, on the boundary as described in Article Two of the present Agreement, so as to sign a formal Boundary Treaty to replace the present agreement.”
    The agreement laid the foundation of Karakoram highway which was built jointly by the Chinese and Pakistani engineers in 1970s.

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