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Understanding the Shaksgam Valley


India has lodged a strong protest with China for carrying out construction activities in the Shaksgam valley, in an “illegal” attempt to alter the situation on the ground.


Facts for Prelims

Understanding the Shaksgam Valley:

  • Location and Status: The Shaksgam Valley, also known as the Trans Karakoram Tract, lies within the Hunza-Gilgit region of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). It is a disputed territory claimed by India but controlled by Pakistan.
  • Geographical Borders: Situated in the northern region, it shares borders with the 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.
  • History of Cession: In 1963, Pakistan ceded the Shaksgam Valley to China as part of a boundary agreement aimed at resolving border disputes between the two nations.
  • Stipulations of the Agreement: Article 6 of the agreement highlighted that any final resolution of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India would prompt a reopening of negotiations with China regarding the boundary described in the agreement. This clause reflects the conditional nature of the territory’s status.
  • Development of Karakoram Highway: The agreement also facilitated the construction of the Karakoram Highway, a crucial transportation route connecting Pakistan and China. This highway, built in the 1970s, stands as a symbol of cooperation between the two nations in the region.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024