GILGIT: A six-day visit by US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has raised eyebrows in GB, with the region’s opposition leader expressing concerns over what he termed the US ambassador’s ‘mysterious activities’.
Mr Blome concluded his six-day visit to GB on Sunday. During the trip, he visited different areas and met with local representatives and GB government officials.
The trip was kept under wraps and both the US embassy and the region’s government did not issue any details or inform the media about the visit. The only official information about the envoy’s visit came in a statement issued by the GB deputy speaker’s office.
Mr Blome also met Food and Tourism Minister Ghulam Muhammad in Gilgit.
During the question hour in the GB assembly on Friday, Kazim Mesum, the opposition leader, said “the mysterious activities” of the US ambassador in the region has raised questions, adding that the GB government was not aware of the visit.
“There is a set procedure for any country’s ambassador to visit the region,” he said, and called Mr Blome’s arrival in Gilgit after visiting Gwadar “suspicious”.
Days before his trip to GB, Mr Blome visited the port city, where China is executing infrastructure projects as part of CPEC.
The opposition leader said visits to the two most vital areas of CPEC were part of “the US’ CPEC containment policy”.
“The ambassador visited areas from which the CPEC route will pass,” Mr Mesum said. “There are many under construction mega projects in GB including CPEC, Diamer Bhasha Dam, while threats of insurgency from Afghanistan and local security issues also exist.”
During this time, the “undisclosed visit” was alarming, he said.
Published in Dawn, September 24rd, 2023