New Delhi: The people of Gilgit-Baltistan will vote for India if there is a referendum because Indians never occupied that land, a top Baloch leader said on Saturday, as tensions rise between the locals and the government over the proposed China-backed CPEC project.
The statement comes as Pakistan deploys additional security in the region fearing violent protest by the people of Balochistan over the project.
The Pakistani authorities have already made a number of arrests against those opposing the CPEC project, which Islamabad claims would bring huge employment as well as rapid development to the region.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is also opposed by India as it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“People are aware that Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed region, by arresting a few people, you (Pakistan) think CPEC will be built, and $42bn will be in your pockets, it's a dream,” ANI quoted a senior Baloch leader Abdul Hamid Khan as saying.
He also said that “If a referendum happens, the people of Balochistan will vote for India because they never committed atrocities on us.”
He accused Pakistan of imposing a war on the Baloch people and said India never occupied their land.
“Pakistan's coward army gave Siachen to India,” the chairman of the Balawaristan National Front alleged.