If POK ie. Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin were under India’s control, how would it have affected our economy and defense system?

If POK ie. Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin were under India's control, how would it have affected our economy and defense system?

Answer by Anil Jhajharia:

Importance of PoK:-

first look at the geography of PoK…

PoK is linked with four countries India, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan.
 
importance:

1. Disengagement of Pakistan with china:

PoK connects China and Pakistan. recent development of Karakoram highway has a major advantage for both China and Pak.
 

  • increased trade between China and Pakistan will harm Indian economic interests. In case of war with India the immediate help can be provided by another country.

  • another disadvantage of this highway is that it reduces China's dependence on Indian ocean and India. India has a major advantage in Indian ocean. some times their advantage is our disadvantage.

2. connection to Afghanistan and central Asia market:

it's the only area where India could have connected to our friendly and resource rich allay Afghanistan via roads etc.  plus it also gives route to central Asian countries like Tajikistan.

2. Increased army advantage and reduced cost:
       
PoK is at higher altitude than its nearer areas. it can give enormous an advantage in case of war.
It also reduces a significant army expenditure at areas like Siachen. about 3 crores are spent a day by Indian government to maintain army there.

3. PoK is rich in water resources.

4. Pakistan's weak governance triggered increase in Taliban's activities over PoK which seems to increase cross border terrorism in India and increased militancy in Indian part of Kashmir.


Importance of Aksai Chin:-

Aksai Chin is part of the world where borders were never precisely decided.

this area doesn't hold much  economic interests for India. this area is vast high – altitude mountain desert. This area receives very less precipitation, almost no fertile land. It has no mineral wealth. In recent report it was published that this area may have  thorium and uranium.   Since India has never taken mining and exploration of natural resources in this region seriously, it has almost no economic significance for India.

 
Strategically it is more meaningful for china than India. In case of Indian control over it could have placed Chinese army from central India.
But for China it connects Xinjiang to Tibet with all weather road China national highway 219. So basically it provides a better opportunity of exploitation of Tibat's mineral resources to China. Aksai Chin Indian control could have increased tensions, but it also could have increased chances of free Tibet. A free state like Tibet could have worked as buffer state and a buffer state would give India more relief than today's condition.

Water has some importance here. china's control of Aksai Chin could lead to diversion the waters of Nubra and Shyok rivers.


Sources:
What India Gets Wrong About China
Aksai Chin
Sino-Indian Relations: The Geopolitics of Aksai Chin  – Geopoliticalmonitor.com
The India – China Border Conundrum
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir: The Future Trajectory
What is the strategic importance of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK) to India?

If POK ie. Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin were under India's control, how would it have affected our economy and defense system?

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