Universal Service Fund (USF), a subsidiary of Pakistan’s information technology ministry, has refused to launch telecom projects in Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK, maintaining that the regions are constitutionally not part of the country. The USF in a letter said that due to this reason, cellular mobile companies could object to the utilisation of the amount generated in Pakistan there.
The situation comes as a massive embarrassment for Pakistan. India maintains that Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK have been illegally occupied by Pakistan despite huge resentment among the residents of these areas.
Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister Khalid Khurshid had urged the USF to extend its services to the region. He wanted the agency to start the project as soon as possible to improve internet connectivity in the mountainous area.
USF is working uninterruptedly in other parts of the country.
Pakistan has over time allowed Chinese influence in Gilgit-Baltistan to rise for the building of the economic corridor, CPEC, between the two countries.
Top Indian intelligence sources said the situation exposes Pakistan’s hypocrisy on Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK and it’s time for the people of both regions to understand and stand up for their cause.
That the USF is providing services even to the disturbed FATA and Balochistan regions but denying them to GB and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a clear indication that it has excluded residents of both areas from the rest of the country, they said.
According to reports last year, the Pakistan government had hoped that a spectrum auction for PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan in September for next-generation mobile services would help considerably improve the telecom and broadband services in these areas.