So I have had it with our Indian friends using another one of their fantasies in order to delegitimise Pakistan's role in the Kashmir conflict. Important to debunk this myth once and for all.. "Did Pakistan cede Kashmiri Territory of Shaksgam valley to China?"
Myth: Pakistan ceded Trans-Karakoram tract or Shaksgam valley to China in Trans-Karakoram pact thus showing utter disregard for Kashmiri sovereignty or its own sovereignty.
Fact: Pakistan did not ‘gift’ any Kashmiri land to China. In fact, it gained 1942 sq kms (750 miles)
from the Chinese, in the 1963 Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement. In fact, the Trans-Karakoram Tract, that Delhi claims- has been ‘gifted’ by Islamabad to Beijing, was not under Pakistani control that they could have vacated it and given it to China.
The Treaty is public, so are the maps as a result of it which show Pakistan gaining the aforementioned amount of area and adding it to Gilgit-Baltistan rather than the other way around. Let's get to the root of the issue and how it all started.
The original territory demarcation issue was between China and British India, which arose as a result of 1846 Amritsar treaty in which the border with China was left unmarked. British authorities assigned W.H. Johnson, a survey officer to propose a line which was to be sent
to Chinese government for negotiations. Authors Christopher Snedden and Alastair Lamb say that Mr. Johnson was unhappy with working conditions under East India Company and sought to join the court of Maharaja of Kashmir instead. To impress the Maharaja, he increased the
size of the state in his created map by including Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley in Kashmir, both of which were in Chinese control. British authorities in Calcutta were annoyed and Johnson was disciplined by his superiors and his map was rejected.
Maharaja however thought that Johnson had magically increased his territory by drawing few lines on the map and thus he was offered a job by Maharaja and appointed Wazir or Governor of Ladakh in 1872 as a reward. The line he created is called Johnson Line
which was rejected by British India, forget about China. EIC however appointed Sir Claude MacDonald to create the new official British line which he did. It did not include the Chinese areas. British sent it to Chinese on 14th March 1899 with the proposal:
1. China will withdraw all claims to Hunza valley
2. British India will withdraw all claims to Shaksgam/Raskam and Taghdumbash
This is the McDonald Line. Chinese did not respond, prompting British to inform them that their silence was taken as assent and Britain
will act accordingly. Which Britain did. Fast forward, Partition happens, Pakistan and India become free, fight a war and divide Kashmir. But this is where the problem starts. Instead of taking up the McDonald line, Indian government officially adopted the Johnson line
because the increased land (Or rather lines on a paper) impressed Nehru as much as it had impressed Maharaja. India made it official in 1954 in their published map.
obviously did not have to tow Mr. Nehru's ridiculous line.
recognised McDonald Line......And that's all.
And that's not all, When Pakistani cited historical evidence and connection of Gilgit-Baltistan to regions in Hunza, Karakoram watershed, K-2 (Half), Shimshal Pass etc, Zhou En Lai acknowdlegd them and Pakistan got them from China which was added to Gilgit-Baltistan.
further asserted that traditional grazing grounds of the Hunza people be given to
because otherwise it would cause them huge distress, Chinese Premier said he'd confirm after checking Xinjiang province and after getting assent of the Uyghur, Chinese gave it as well.
All this area combined totaled 1942 sq kms (750 miles).
And that's not all, Pakistan also took care to add the provision to secure Kashmiri sovreignity in future, pending the resolution of the dispute, in Article 6 of the treaty.
"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, provided that in the event of the sovereign authority being Pakistan, the provisions of the present agreement and of the aforesaid protocol shall be maintained in the formal
boundary treaty to be signed between the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan"
If you still don't understand how groundbreaking this deal was, imagine this. China went to all out war against India for this line which they absolutely refused to change. Whereas for Pakistan and Kashmir, China ceded 750 sqm and also recognized that
a future sovereign Kashmiri government may renegotiate this border when they are free.
Noted Indian Lawyer and Author on Kashmir, AG Noorani Noted this in his article, aptly named "Map Fetish". http://web.archive.org/web/20200506231350/https://frontline.thehindu.com/the-nation/article30164084.ece
Anwar H Syed in in China and Pakistan: Diplomacy of an Entente Cordiale wrote:
George L. Singleton reconfirmed Pakistan’s claim as under:
Pakistani FM, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also wiped the floor with Indian delegation when they raised this issue in UN Security Council dated 26 March 1963:
Who Ceded Land by Dr. Ahmad Rashid Malik Director of the China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad https://web.archive.org/web/20200507074153/https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/06/26/who-ceded-the-land/
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.