Gilgit Baltistan (GB), the northern part of Pakitan, is a sparsely inhabited region. This northern tip of the Indian sub-continent area always remained geo-strategically an essential point for Pakistan. GB remained the gateway to central Asian Republics CARs and China. This region covers an area of 72,971 sq-km, more than six times the size of Azad J&K; here below are some details of Pakistan’s strategic jewel.
Gilgit Baltistan History
The region was under the disputed Jammu and Kashmir during undivided India. The native masses revolted against the Dogra rule of J&K on November 01, 1947 ( currently celebrating as GB independence day). And after 16 days, the peoples needed Pakistan to govern the area. With political promises of full constitutional status to the site, the region is geostrategically significant to Pakistan.
Gilgit Baltistan Map
When we follow the map, it’s apparent that GB is a strategic point for Pakistan. Because the region connects Pakistan with Indian Administered Union territories Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the south-east, it separates India by the Line of Control aka LOC.
It borders Pakistan with China’s Xinjiang region to the East and northeast. From here, the gigantic development and infrastructure project of CPEC enters Pakistan. Its Western Side touches KPK and the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan to the North.
Political Progress of Gilgit Baltistan
Political confusions remained from the time when Pakistan took administrative control of GB. In 1949, Karachi Agreement decided to give GB under temporary admin. Control of Pakistan until any plebiscite without any representative of GB. Such moves help to create separatist groups within GB, which latterly called traitors. If you push someone closer to the wall, then there will be reactions.
Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR)
The FCR was started by British Raj and Pakistan in 1901 in Gilgit and 1947 in the Baltistan agency. FCR permits the authorities to punish entire families for wrongs done by individuals. And it also denies the individuals the right to judicial proceedings. In short, it was a black law that is against fundamental human rights. The Pakistani government finally modified this law, but it was detached from GB by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the 1970s.
Land Ownership Rights in GB
GB is a disputed area between India and Pakistan, as the UNSC decrees. Furthermore, it’s is the people to give them property ownership. Non-GB people can buy lands in GB, but not in Azad J&K though both have disputed status. The slogan of PPP to give “Haq–e-Malkiyat, Haq–e-Hakimyat “or the right of ownership and governance in current elections. Furthermore, it was the PPP who ended the structure of the ruling of the Rajas from GB.
GB’s people owe plentiful to the Pakistan People’s Party because of their special steps taken for GB. The end of slavery of the Rajas, the end of criminal FCR, and the same party’s provincial status. The reforms are many, but Pervez Musharaf and Nawaz Sharif did enough in socio-economic and infrastructure projects.
Gilgit Baltistan Tourism
GB is home to the ranges of mighty Karakoram, Hindukush, and Himalaya, where all these met each other. Out of all fourteen 8000 meters peaks, Pakistan has five, and all are in GB. Gilgit Baltistan’s famous places are uncountable as we have Skardu, Shigar, Hunza, Astore, Ghanche, Nagar, you name it. The Glaciers are mighty in length and elevation. The Baltoro and Siachen Glaciers are just the tips of the iceberg.
CPEC and GB
There is literature available relating to CPEC and GB already. But I want to share the newest route included in the project. This route is all along near the LOC with India. It gives Pakistani forces strategic opportunities to move more quickly to the borders than the Indian forces. You can also check Conflits in the south china sea.
The Bottom Line
The people of GB always considered themselves as part and parcels of Pakistan with questions. Pakistan linked GB to the Kashmir movement, which is merciless because the people don’t reflect themselves as part of J&K. It is duplicity on the part of the state. Because of GB’s decent news, like Muhammad Ali Sadpara, then you project GB as a part of Pakistan. Conversely, the constitutional demands are overruled by arguing that GB is a disputed territory. Concerns of GB should be addressed to have a healthy, united nation.
What would be the possible solution to the GB question?