Jammu (JPN/Bureau): In an act that might stir a political storm, Jammu & Kashmir's main opposition party, People's Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti, has ceded both Aksai Chin and the Karakoram region to China on a map shown in its 'vision on Kashmir' power-point presentation.

This is the first time a mainstream political party has acknowledged Chinese role or presence in Kashmir.

Going well beyond it's argument for self-rule in the state, the PDP leadership made a power-point presentation of its vision on Kashmir in which PDP has accepted China's sovereignty over Aksai Chin and the Karakoram region on a map super-imposed on a collage of foreign currency notes. This contradicts the official Indian stand that states all these areas are Indian territory.

PDP has tacitly acknowledged China's stakes and role in Kashmir in its vision document. It wants Srinagar to be connected to Yarkand in China, and beyond that to the Karakoram highway, constructed by China after Pakistan ceded it some 4,000 sq km of Kashmir in 1963. It's deemed illegal by India.

China's moves in Kashmir have picked up momentum in the past few years. While the stapled Visa issue has been widely reported, the strategic community in India is more alarmed by China's presence in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where China is building the 7,000 mw Bunji Hydroelectric Project. Also on the anvil is a proposed railway line along the six-lane Karakoram highway. Few doubt the ability of the Chinese to accomplish this after its staggering achievement of a railway line to Lhasa.

The Northern Areas has now been incorporated in Pakistan and renamed Gilgit-Baltistan. In 2010, Pakistan, after 63 years of direct rule, gave the province an elected assembly. One of the first comments of the elected Chief Minister, Mehndi Shah, was, "Gilgit was never a part of Kashmir."