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Expansion of the Karakoram Corridor: Implications and Prospects

Mr. Senge Sering has a Masters in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, and was a Visiting scholar at IDSA, New Delhi.
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  • IDSA Occasional Paper No. 27

    China has huge and long-term presence in Gilgit-Baltistan and is building extensive road, bridge and telecom networks to sustain it. The drivers compelling China to develop Karakoram Corridor are diverse and mainly pertain to its economic, strategic and political ambitions. However, the projects, which currently serve the strategic and economic interests of the investor, need to promote interests of the local people and enhance their decision-making power and control over project revenues on priority basis. Growing Chinese interference in local affairs will create friction among different stakeholders and lead to instability in Gilgit-Baltistan. Chinese and Pakistani control over resource-revenues may be a short-term tactical move, but will fail to provide any long-term strategic gains. The role that locals see for China in Gilgit-Baltistan is firstly, to withdraw from the occupied valleys of Shaksgam, Raskam, Shimshal, and Aksai- chin; secondly, to refrain from getting involved in the affairs of J&K including Gilgit-Baltistan; and thirdly, to persuade Pakistan to withdraw from PoK including Gilgit-Baltistan.This can help bring peace and stability to South Asia.

    About the Author

    Senge H. Sering was born in Shigar, a valley in the disputed region of Gilgit-Baltistan. He finished his degree in textile engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Punjab and Masters in Development Studies from University of East Anglia, U.K. During the 1990s, he worked as a cultural activist and helped revive the indigenous script in Baltistan. He also helped establish a non-profit organisation in the Shigar valley to promote education and health services for the local women. Later, he joined a project of Aga Khan Foundation and worked in the monitoring, evaluation and research department. During that time, he was also associated with Baltistan Cultural Foundation. In 2009, he was selected as a visiting fellow to the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Currently, he is managing the Institute for Gilgit Baltistan Studies based in Washington DC. He is also the member of the board of directors of the Gilgit - Baltistan National Congress.

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