HOME
The Info List - Northern Areas


--- Advertisement ---



Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
(Urdu: گلگت بلتستان‬‎), formerly known as the Northern Areas,[10] is the northernmost administrative territory in Pakistan.[1] It borders Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
to the west, the Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor
of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the north, the Xinjiang
Xinjiang
region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir to the southeast. According to UNSC Resolution of 1947 the territory is part of the disputed Kashmir
Kashmir
region along with Azad Kashmir, Aksai Chin, the Shaksgam Valley, and Jammu, Ladakh, and the Valley of Kashmir.[1][11][12] The territory of present-day Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas". It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit
Gilgit
Agency, the Baltistan district and several small former princely states, the larger of which being Hunza and Nagar.[2] In 2009, it was granted limited autonomy and renamed to Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
via the Self-Governance Order signed by Pakistan
Pakistan
president Asif Ali Zardari, which also aimed to empower the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, scholars state that the real power rests with the governor and not with chief minister or elected assembly.[13][14] The population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
wants to be merged into Pakistan
Pakistan
as a separate fifth province and opposes integration with Kashmir.[15][16] The Pakistani government has rejected Gilgit-Baltistani calls for integration with Pakistan
Pakistan
on the grounds that it would jeopardise its demands for the whole Kashmir issue to be resolved according to UN resolutions.[17] Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
covers an area of over 72,971 km² (28,174 sq mi)[6] and is highly mountainous. It had an estimated population of 1,800,000 in 2015.[2] Its capital city is Gilgit (population 216,760 est). Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is home to five of the "eight-thousanders" and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Three of the world's longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan. Tourism is mostly in trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is growing in importance.

Contents

1 Early history 2 Medieval history 3 Modern history

3.1 Dogra rule 3.2 First Kashmir
Kashmir
War 3.3 Inside Pakistan

4 Government

4.1 Regions

5 Geography and climate

5.1 Rock art and petroglyphs 5.2 Climate

6 Economy and resources

6.1 Mountaineering

7 Transport 8 Population

8.1 Demographics 8.2 Languages 8.3 Religion

9 Culture

9.1 Sports

10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links

Early history Main article: History of Gilgit-Baltistan

Rock carvings

Manthal Buddha Rock
Manthal Buddha Rock
in outskirts of Skardu
Skardu
city

Photograph of Kargah Buddha

The Hanzal stupa dates from the Buddhist era

"The ancient Stupa – rock carvings of Buddha, everywhere in the region is a pointer to the firm hold of the Buddhist rules for such a long time."[18]

The rock carvings found in various places in Gilgit-Baltistan, especially those found in the Passu
Passu
village of Hunza, suggest a human presence since 2000 BC.[19] Within the next few centuries after human settlement in the Tibetan plateau, this region became inhabited by Tibetans, who preceded the Balti people
Balti people
of Baltistan. Today Baltistan bears similarity to Ladakh
Ladakh
physically and culturally (although not religiously). Dards
Dards
are found mainly in the western areas. These people are the Shina-speaking peoples of Gilgit, Chilas, Astore and Diamir while in Hunza and in the upper regions Burushaski
Burushaski
and Khowar speakers dominate. The Dards
Dards
find mention in the works of Herodotus,[a] Nearchus, Megasthenes, Pliny,[b] Ptolemy,[c] and the geographical lists of the Puranas.[20] In the 1st century the people of these regions were followers of the Bon religion while in the 2nd century they followed Buddhism.

Map of Tibetan Empire
Tibetan Empire
citing the areas of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
as part of its kingdom in 780–790 CE

Between 399 and 414, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Faxian
Faxian
visited Gilgit-Baltistan,[21] while in the 6th century Somana Palola (greater Gilgit-Chilas) was ruled by an unknown king. Between 627 and 645, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang
Xuanzang
travelled through this region on his pilgrimage to India. According to Chinese records from the Tang dynasty, between the 600s and the 700s, the region was governed by a Buddhist dynasty referred to as Bolü (Chinese: 勃律; pinyin: bólǜ), also transliterated as Palola, Patola, Balur.[22] They are believed to be the Palola Sāhi dynasty mentioned in a Brahmi inscription,[23] and are devout adherents of Vajrayana Buddhism.[24] At the time, Little Palola (Chinese: 小勃律) was used to refer to Gilgit, while Great Palola (Chinese: 大勃律) was used to refer to Baltistan. However, the records do not consistently disambiguate the two. In mid-600s, Gilgit
Gilgit
came under Chinese suzerainty after the fall of Western Turkic Khaganate
Western Turkic Khaganate
due to Tang military campaigns in the region. In late 600s CE, the rising Tibetan Empire
Tibetan Empire
wrestled control of the region from the Chinese. However, faced with growing influence of the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
and then the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
to the west, the Tibetans were forced to ally themselves with the Islamic caliphates. The region was then contested by Chinese and Tibetan forces, and their respective vassal states, until the mid-700s.[25] Rulers of Gilgit formed an alliance with the Tang Chinese and held back the Arabs with their help.[26] Between 644 and 655, Navasurendrāditya-nandin became king of Palola Sāhi dynasty in Gilgit.[27] Numerous Sanskrit
Sanskrit
inscriptions, including the Danyor
Danyor
Rock Inscriptions, were discovered to be from his reign.[28] In late 600s and early 700s, Jayamaṅgalavikramāditya-nandin was king of Gilgit.[27] According to Chinese court records, in 717 and 719 respectively, delegations of a ruler of Great Palola (Baltistan) named Su-fu-she-li-ji-li-ni (Chinese: 蘇弗舍利支離泥; pinyin: sūfúshèlìzhīlíní) reached the Chinese imperial court.[29][30] By at least 719/720, Ladakh
Ladakh
(Mard) has became part of the Tibetan Empire. By that time, Buddhism
Buddhism
was practiced in Baltistan, and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
was the written language. In 720, the delegation of Surendrāditya (Chinese: 蘇麟陀逸之; pinyin: sūlíntuóyìzhī) reached the Chinese imperial court. He was referred to by the Chinese records as the king of Great Palola; however, it is unknown if Baltistan
Baltistan
was under Gilgit
Gilgit
rule at the time.[31] The Chinese emperor also granted the ruler of Cashmere, Chandrāpīḍa ("Tchen-fo-lo-pi-li"), the title of "King of Cashmere". By 721/722, Baltistan
Baltistan
had came under the influence of the Tibetan Empire.[32] In 721–722, Tibetan army attempted but failed to capture Gilgit
Gilgit
or Bruzha (Yasin valley). By this time, according to Chinese records, the king of Little Palola was Mo-ching-mang (Chinese: 沒謹忙; pinyin: méijǐnmáng). He had visited Tang court requesting military assistance against the Tibetans.[33] Between 723–728, the Korean Buddhist pilgrim Hyecho passed through this area. In 737/738, Tibetan troops under the leadership of Minister Bel Kyesang Dongtsab of Emperor Me Agtsom took control of Little Palola. By 747, the Chinese army under the leadership of the ethnic-Korean commander Gao Xianzhi had recaptured Little Palola.[34] Great Palola was subsequently captured by the Chinese army in 753 under the military Governor Feng Changqing. However, by 755, due to the An Lushan rebellion, the Tang Chinese forces withdrew and was no longer able to exert influence in Central Asia
Central Asia
and in the regions around Gilgit-Baltistan.[35] The control of the region was left to the Tibetan Empire. They referred to the region as Bruzha, a toponym that is consistent with the ethnonym "Burusho" used today. Tibetan control of the region lasted until late-800s CE.[36] Turkic tribes practicing Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
arrived in Gilgit
Gilgit
during the 7th century, and founded the Trakhan dynasty
Trakhan dynasty
in Gilgit.[26] Medieval history In the 14th century Sufi Muslim
Muslim
preachers from Persia and Central Asia introduced Islam in Baltistan. Famous amongst them was Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani who came via Kashmir[37] while in the Gilgit
Gilgit
region Islam entered in the same century through Turkic Tarkhan rulers. Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was ruled by many local rulers, amongst whom the Maqpon dynasty of Skardu
Skardu
and the Rajas of Hunza were famous. The Maqpons of Skardu
Skardu
unfied Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
with Chitral
Chitral
and Ladakh, especially in the era of Ali Sher Khan Anchan[38] who had friendly relations with the Mughal court.[39] Anchan reign brought prosperity and entertained art, sport, and variety in architecture. He introduced polo to the Gilgit
Gilgit
region and from Chitral
Chitral
he sent a group of musicians to Delhi
Delhi
to learn Indian music; the Mughal architecture influenced the architecture of the region as well.[40] Later Anchan in his successors Abdal Khan had great influence though in the popular literature of Baltistan
Baltistan
he is still alive as dark figure by the nickname "Mizos" "man-eater". The last Maqpons Raja, Ahmed Shah, ruled all of Baltistan
Baltistan
between 1811–1840. The areas of Gilgit, Chitral
Chitral
and Hunza had already become independent of the Maqpons.[citation needed] Before the demise of Shribadat, a group of Shin people migrated from Gilgit
Gilgit
Dardistan and settled in the Dras
Dras
and Kharmang
Kharmang
areas. The descendants of those Dardic people can be still found today, and are believed to have maintained their Dardic culture and Shina language
Shina language
up to the present time.[citation needed] Modern history Dogra rule

The last Maqpon Raja Ahmed Shah (died in prison in Lhasa[41] around 1845)

In November 1839, Dogra commander Zorawar Singh, whose allegiance was to Gulab Singh, started his campaign against Baltistan.[42] By 1840 he conquered Skardu
Skardu
and captured its ruler, Ahmad Shah. Ahmad Shah was then forced to accompany Zorawar Singh on his raid into Western Tibet. Meanwhile, Baghwan Singh was appointed as administrator (Thanadar) in Skardu. But in the following year, Ali Khan of Rondu, Haidar Khan of Shigar
Shigar
and Daulat Ali Khan from Khaplu
Khaplu
led a successful uprising against the Dogras
Dogras
in Baltistan
Baltistan
and captured the Dogra commander Baghwan Singh in Skardu.[43] In 1842, Dogra Commander Wasir Lakhpat, with the active support of Ali Sher Khan (III) from lKartaksho, conquered Baltistan
Baltistan
for the second time. There was a violent capture of the fortress of Kharphocho. Haidar Khan from Shigar, one of the leaders of the uprising against the Dogras,[44] was imprisoned and died in captivity. Gosaun was appointed as administrator (Thanadar) of Baltistan
Baltistan
and till 1860, the entire region of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was under the Sikhs
Sikhs
and then the Dogras.[45][46] After the defeat of the Sikhs
Sikhs
in the First Anglo-Sikh War, the region became a part of the princely state called Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
which since 1846 remained under the rule of the Dogras. The population in Gilgit
Gilgit
perceived itself to be ethnically different from Kashmiris and disliked being ruled by the Kashmir
Kashmir
state.[47] The region remained with the princely state, with temporary leases of some areas assigned to the British, until 1 November 1947. First Kashmir
Kashmir
War After Pakistan's independence, Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
initially remained an independent state. Later on 22 October 1947, tribal militias backed by Pakistan
Pakistan
crossed the border into Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir.[48][49] Local tribal militias and the Pakistani armed forces moved to take Srinagar but on reaching Uri they encountered defensive forces. Hari Singh
Hari Singh
made a plea to India
India
for assistance and signed the Instrument of Accession. Gilgit's population did not favour the State's accession to India.[50] The Muslims of the Frontier Districts Province (modern day Gilgit-Baltistan) had wanted to join Pakistan.[51] Sensing their discontent, Major William Brown, the Maharaja's commander of the Gilgit
Gilgit
Scouts, mutinied on 1 November 1947, overthrowing the Governor Ghansara Singh. The bloodless coup d'etat was planned by Brown to the last detail under the code name "Datta Khel", which was also joined by a rebellious section of the Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
6th Infantry under Mirza Hassan Khan. Brown ensured that the treasury was secured and minorities were protected. A provisional government (Aburi Hakoomat) was established by the Gilgit
Gilgit
locals with Raja Shah Rais Khan as the president and Mirza Hassan Khan as the commander-in-chief. However, Major Brown had already telegraphed Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan asking Pakistan
Pakistan
to take over. The Pakistani political agent, Khan Mohammad Alam Khan, arrived on 16 November and took over the administration of Gilgit.[52][53] Brown outmaneuvered the pro-Independence group and secured the approval of the mirs and rajas for accession to Pakistan. Browns's actions surprised the British Government.[54] According to Brown,

Alam replied [to the locals], "you are a crowd of fools led astray by a madman. I shall not tolerate this nonsense for one instance... And when the Indian Army starts invading you there will be no use screaming to Pakistan
Pakistan
for help, because you won't get it."... The provisional government faded away after this encounter with Alam Khan, clearly reflecting the flimsy and opportunistic nature of its basis and support.[55]

The provisional government lasted 16 days. The provisional government lacked sway over the population. The Gilgit
Gilgit
rebellion did not have civilian involvement and was solely the work of military leaders, not all of whom had been in favor of joining Pakistan, at least in the short term. Historian Ahmed Hasan Dani mentions that although there was lack of public participation in the rebellion, pro-Pakistan sentiments were intense in the civilian population and their anti-Kashmiri sentiments were also clear.[56] According to various scholars, the people of Gilgit
Gilgit
as well as those of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin, Punial, Hunza and Nagar joined Pakistan
Pakistan
by choice.[57][58][59][60][61] After taking control of Gilgit, the Gilgit
Gilgit
Scouts along with Azad irregulars moved towards Baltistan
Baltistan
and Ladakh
Ladakh
and captured Skardu
Skardu
by May 1948. They successfully blocked the Indian reinforcements and subsequently captured Dras
Dras
and Kargill
Kargill
as well, cutting off the Indian communications to Leh
Leh
in Ladakh. The Indian forces mounted an offensive in Autumn 1948 and recaptured all of Kargil district. Baltistan
Baltistan
region, however, came under Gilgit
Gilgit
control.[62][63] On 1 January 1948, India
India
took the issue of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
to the United Nations Security Council. In April 1948, the Council passed a resolution calling for Pakistan
Pakistan
to withdraw from all of Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir
Kashmir
and India
India
to reduce its forces to the minimum level, following which a plebiscite would be held to ascertain the people's wishes.[64] However, no withdrawal was ever carried out, India
India
insisting that Pakistan
Pakistan
had to withdraw first and Pakistan
Pakistan
contending that there was no guarantee that India
India
would withdraw afterwards.[65] Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
and a western portion of the state called Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir
have remained under the control of Pakistan
Pakistan
since then.[66] Inside Pakistan While the residents of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
expressed a desire to join Pakistan
Pakistan
after gaining independence from Maharaja Hari Singh, Pakistan declined to merge the region into itself because of the territory's link to Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir.[60] For a short period after joining Pakistan, Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was governed by Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
if only "theoretically, but not practically" through its claim of being an alternative government for Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir.[67] In 1949, the Government of Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
handed administration of the area to the federal government via the Karachi
Karachi
Agreement, on an interim basis which gradually assumed permanence. According to Indian journalist Sahni, this is seen as an effort by Pakistan
Pakistan
to legitimize its rule over Gilgit-Baltistan.[68] There were two reasons why administration was transferred from Azad Kashmir
Kashmir
to Pakistan: (1) the region was inaccessible to Azad Kashmir and (2) because both the governments of Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
and Pakistan
Pakistan
knew that the people of the region were in favour of joining Pakistan
Pakistan
in a potential referendum over Kashmir's final status.[60] According to the International Crisis Group, the Karachi
Karachi
Agreement is highly unpopular in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
because Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was not a party to it even while its fate was being decided upon.[69] From then until 1990s, Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was governed through the colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulations, which treated tribal people as "barbaric and uncivilised," levying collective fines and punishments.[70][71] People had no right to legal representation or a right to appeal.[72][71] Members of tribes had to obtain prior permission from the police to travel to any location and had to keep the police informed about their movements.[73][74] There was no democratic set-up for Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
during this period. All political and judicial powers remained in the hands of the Ministry of Kashmir
Kashmir
Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA). The people of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
were deprived of rights enjoyed by citizens of Pakistan
Pakistan
and Azad Kashmir.[75] A primary reason for this state of affairs was the remoteness of Gilgit-Baltistan. Another factor was that the whole of Pakistan
Pakistan
itself was deficient in democratic norms and principles, therefore the federal government did not prioritise democratic development in the region. There was also a lack of public pressure as an active civil society was absent in the region, with young educated residents usually opting to live in Pakistan's urban centers instead of staying in the region.[75] In 1970 the two parts of the territory, viz., the Gilgit
Gilgit
Agency and Baltistan, were merged into a single administrative unit, and given the name "Northern Areas".[1] The Shaksgam tract was ceded by Pakistan to China
China
following the signing of the Sino-Pakistani Frontier Agreement in 1963.[76][77] In 1969, a Northern Areas Advisory Council (NAAC) was created, later renamed to Northern Areas Council (NAC) in 1974 and Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) in 1994. But it was devoid of legislative powers. All law-making was concentrated in the KANA Ministry of Pakistan. In 1994, a Legal Framework Order (LFO) was created by the KANA Ministry to serve as the de facto constitution for the region.[78][79] In 1984 the territory's importance shot up on the domestic level with the opening of the Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway and the region's population came to be more connected with mainland Pakistan. With the improvement in connectivity, the local population availed education opportunities in the rest of Pakistan.[80] Improved connectivity also allowed the political parties of Pakistan
Pakistan
and Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
to setup local branches, raise political awareness in the region, and these Pakistani political parties have played a 'laudable role' in organising a movement for democratic rights among the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan.[75] In the late 1990s, the President of Al-Jihad Trust filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Pakistan
to determine the legal status of Gilgit-Baltistan. In its judgement of 28 May 1999, the Court directed the Government of Pakistan
Pakistan
to ensure the provision of equal rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, and gave it six months to do so. Following the Supreme Court decision the government took several steps to devolve power to the local level. However, in several policy circles the point was raised that the Pakistani government was helpless to comply with the court verdict because of the strong political and sectarian divisions in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
and also because of the territory's historical connection with the still disputed Kashmir
Kashmir
region and this prevented the determination of Gilgit-Baltistan's real status.[81] A position of 'Deputy Chief Executive' was created to act as the local administrator, but the real powers still rested with the 'Chief Executive', who was the Federal Minister of KANA. "The secretaries were more powerful than the concerned advisors," in the words of one commentator. In spite of various reforms packages over the years, the situation is essentially unchanged.[82] Meanwhile, public rage in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is "growing alarmingly." Prominent "antagonist groups" have mushroomed protesting the absence of civic rights and democracy.[83] Pakistan
Pakistan
government has been debating the grant of a provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.[84] According to Antia Mato Bouzas, the PPP-led Pakistani government has attempted a compromise through its 2009 reforms between its traditional stand on the Kashmir
Kashmir
dispute and the demands of locals, most of whom may have pro- Pakistan
Pakistan
sentiments. While the 2009 reforms have added to the self-identification of the region, they have not resolved the constitutional status of the region within Pakistan.[85] The people of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
want to be merged into Pakistan
Pakistan
as a separate fifth province,[15][16] however, leaders of Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
are opposed to any step to integrate Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
into Pakistan.[86] The people of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
oppose any integration with Kashmir
Kashmir
and instead want Pakistani citizenship and constitutional status for their region.[15][16] Government Main article: Government of Gilgit-Baltistan The territory of present-day Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas". It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit
Gilgit
Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh
Ladakh
Wazarat and the hill states of Hunza and Nagar. It presently consists of ten districts,[87] has a population approaching one million and an area of approximately 28,000 square miles (73,000 km2), and shares borders with Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, and India. In 1993, an attempt was made by the High Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
to annex Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
but was quashed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Pakistan
after protests by the locals of Gilgit-Baltistan, who feared domination by the Kashmiris.[17] Government of Pakistan
Pakistan
abolished State Subject Rule in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
in 1974, which resulted in demographic changes in the territory.[88][89] While administratively controlled by Pakistan
Pakistan
since the First Kashmir
Kashmir
War, Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
has never been formally integrated into the Pakistani state and does not participate in Pakistan's constitutional political affairs.[90][91] On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the then President of Pakistan
Pakistan
Asif Ali Zardari.[92] The order granted self-rule to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, by creating, among other things, an elected Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly
Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly
and Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
Council. Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
thus gained a de facto province-like status without constitutionally becoming part of Pakistan.[90][93] Currently Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is neither a province nor a state. It has a semi-provincial status.[94] Officially, the Pakistan government has rejected Gilgit-Baltistani calls for integration with Pakistan
Pakistan
on the grounds that it would jeopardise its demands for the whole Kashmir
Kashmir
issue to be resolved according to UN resolutions.[17] Some Kashmiri nationalist groups, such as the Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir Liberation Front, claim Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
as part of a future independent state to match what existed in 1947.[17] India, on the other hand, maintains that Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is a part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
that is "an integral part of the country [India]."[95] Regions

Map of Gilgit-Baltistan, showing the boundaries of six of the ten present districts and their tehsils. The boundary between the recently created Hunza and Nagar districts and the now smaller Gilgit
Gilgit
District is the same line as the northern boundary of the former Gilgit
Gilgit
tehsil. That tehsil appears as the southernmost division of the area shown above in light blue. Aliabad, the administrative center of the new Hunza and Nagar Districts, is not yet shown on this map. Note: An up-to-date map showing the boundaries of all nine of the present districts is sorely needed.

Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is administratively divided into three divisions[96] which, in turn, are divided into ten districts, consisting of the four Baltistan
Baltistan
districts of Skardu, Shigar, Kharmang, and Ghanche, and the four Gilgit
Gilgit
districts of Gilgit, Ghizer, Hunza and Nagar and two districts of Diamer and Astore are part of Diamer Division.[97][98] The principal administrative centers are the towns of Gilgit
Gilgit
and Skardu.

Division District Area (km²) Capital Population (2013)[99] Divisional Capital

Baltistan Ghanche 4,052 Khaplu 108,000 Skardu

Shigar 8,500 Shigar -

Kharmang 5,500 Kharmang -

Skardu 8,700 Skardu 305,000*

Gilgit Gilgit 14,672 Gilgit 222,000 Gilgit

Ghizer 9,635 Gahkuch 190,000

Hunza 7,900 Aliabad 70,000 (2015)[100]

Nagar 5,000 Nagar 51,387 (1998)[99]

Diamer Diamer 10,936 Chilas 214,000 Chilas

Astore 5,092 Eidghah 114,000

* Combined population of Skardu, Shigar
Shigar
and Kharmang
Kharmang
Districts. Shigar and Kharmang
Kharmang
Districts were carved out of Skardu
Skardu
District after 1998. The estimated population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was about 1.8 million in 2015[2] and the overall population growth rate between 1998 and 2011 was 63.1% making it 4.85% annually.[101][102] Geography and climate Main article: Geography of Gilgit-Baltistan

Map of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
showing its position relative to Azad Kashmir

Naltar Lakes

Naltar Lake or Bashkiri Lake-I

Naltar Lake or Bashkiri Lake-II

Azure colored water of Naltar Lake III

Surface elevation = 3050–3150 m[103]

Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
borders Pakistan's Khyber Pukhtunkhwa
Khyber Pukhtunkhwa
province to the west, a small portion of the Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor
of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the north, China's Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region to the northeast, the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
to the southeast, and the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
to the south. Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is home to five of the "eight-thousanders" and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). Gilgit
Gilgit
and Skardu
Skardu
are the two main hubs for expeditions to those mountains. The region is home to some of the world's highest mountain ranges. The main ranges are the Karakoram
Karakoram
and the western Himalayas. The Pamir Mountains are to the north, and the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
lies to the west. Amongst the highest mountains are K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen) and Nanga Parbat, the latter being one of the most feared mountains in the world.

Manthokha Waterfall.

Three of the world's longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan: the Biafo Glacier, the Baltoro Glacier, and the Batura Glacier. There are, in addition, several high-altitude lakes in Gilgit-Baltistan:

Sheosar Lake
Sheosar Lake
in the Deosai Plains, skardu Naltar lakes
Naltar lakes
in the Naltar Valley, Gilgit Satpara Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan Katzura Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan Zharba Tso Lake in Shigar, Baltistan Phoroq Tso Lake in Skardu, Baltistan Lake Kharfak in Gangche, Baltistan Byarsa Tso Lake in Gultari, Astore Borith Lake
Borith Lake
in Gojal, upper Hunza, Gilgit Rama Lake near Astore Rush Lake near Nagar, Gilgit Kromber Lake at Kromber Pass Ishkoman Valley, Ghizer
Ghizer
District Barodaroksh Lake in Bar Valley, Nagar Ghorashi Lake in Ghandus Valley, Kharmang

The Deosai Plains, are located above the tree line and constitute the second-highest plateau in the world at 4,115 metres (14,500 feet) after Tibet. The plateau lies east of Astore, south of Skardu
Skardu
and west of Ladakh. The area was declared as a national park in 1993. The Deosai Plains
Deosai Plains
cover an area of almost 5,000 square kilometres (1,900 sq mi). For over half the year (between September and May), Deosai is snow-bound and cut off from rest of Astore and Baltistan
Baltistan
in winters. The village of Deosai lies close to Chilum chokki and is connected with the Kargil district
Kargil district
of Ladakh
Ladakh
through an all-weather road.

Satpara Lake, Skardu, in 2002

Upper Kachura Lake

A boat in AttaAbad lake

Shangrila Lake, Skardu

Rock art and petroglyphs There are more than 50,000 pieces of rock art (petroglyphs) and inscriptions all along the Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway in Gilgit-Baltistan, concentrated at ten major sites between Hunza and Shatial. The carvings were left by invaders, traders, and pilgrims who passed along the trade route, as well as by locals. The earliest date back to between 5000 and 1000 BCE, showing single animals, triangular men and hunting scenes in which the animals are larger than the hunters. These carvings were pecked into the rock with stone tools and are covered with a thick patina that proves their age. The ethnologist Karl Jettmar has pieced together the history of the area from inscriptions and recorded his findings in Rock Carvings and Inscriptions in the Northern Areas of Pakistan[104] and the later-released Between Gandhara and the Silk Roads — Rock Carvings Along the Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway.[105] Many of these carvings and inscriptions will be inundated and/or destroyed when the planned Basha-Diamir dam is built and the Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway is widened. Climate The climate of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
varies from region to region, surrounding mountain ranges creates sharp variations in weather. The eastern part has the moist zone of the western Himalayas, but going toward Karakoram
Karakoram
and Hindu Kush, the climate dries considerably.[106] There are towns like Gilgit
Gilgit
and Chilas
Chilas
that are very hot during the day in summer yet cold at night and valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar, where the temperatures are cold even in summer.[107] Economy and resources

Montage of Gilgit-Baltistan

See also: Education in Gilgit-Baltistan The economy of the region is primarily based on a traditional route of trade, the historic Silk Road. The China
China
Trade Organization forum led the people of the area to actively invest and learn modern trade know-how from its Chinese neighbor Xinjiang. Later, the establishment of a chamber of commerce and the Sust
Sust
dry port (in Gojal
Gojal
Hunza) are milestones. The rest of the economy is shouldered by mainly agriculture and tourism. Agricultural products are wheat, corn (maize), barley, and fruits. Tourism is mostly in trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is growing in importance.[108][109] In early September 2009, Pakistan
Pakistan
signed an agreement with the People's Republic of China
China
for a major energy project in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
which includes the construction of a 7,000-megawatt dam at Bunji in the Astore District.[110] Mountaineering

View of Laila Peak, which is located near Hushe Valley (a town in Khaplu)

The Trango Towers
Trango Towers
offer some of the largest cliffs and most challenging rock climbing in the world, and every year a number of expeditions from all corners of the globe visit Karakoram
Karakoram
to climb the challenging granite.[111]

Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is home to more than 20 peaks of over 20,000 feet (6,100 m), including K-2 the second highest mountain on Earth.[112] Other well known peaks include Masherbrum
Masherbrum
(also known as K1), Broad Peak, Hidden Peak, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum IV, and Chogolisa, situated in Khaplu
Khaplu
Valley. The following peaks have so far been scaled by various expeditions:

Name of Peak Photos Height Date of Conquest Location

1.K-2

(28,250Ft) 31 Jul 1954 Karakoram

2. Nanga Parbat

(26,660 Ft) 3 Jul 1953 Himalaya

3. Gasherbrum I

(26,360Ft) 7 Jul 1956 Karakoram

4. Broad Peak

(26,550Ft) 9 Jun 1957 Karakoram

5. Muztagh Tower

(23,800Ft) 6 Aug 1956 Karakoram

6. Gasherbrum II

(26,120Ft) 4 Jul 1958 Karakoram

7. Hidden Peak

(26,470Ft) 4 Jul 1957 Karakoram

8. Khunyang Chhish

(25,761 Ft) 4 July 1971 Karakoram

9. Masherbrum

(25,659 Ft) 4 Aug 1960 Karakoram

10. Saltoro Kangri

(25,400Ft) 4 June 1962 Karakoram

11. Chogolisa

(25,148 Ft) 4 Aug 1963 Karakoram

Transport

A picture of Gilgit
Gilgit
Airport taken in the month of December 2015. Runway can be seen.

ATR 42-500 on Gilgit
Gilgit
Airport. Picture taken on July 10, 2016

Before 1978, Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was cut off from the rest of the Pakistan
Pakistan
and the world due to the harsh terrain and the lack of accessible roads. All of the roads to the south opened toward the Pakistan-administered state of Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
and to the southeast toward the present-day Indian-administered Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir. During the summer, people could walk across the mountain passes to travel to Rawalpindi. The fastest way to travel was by air, but air travel was accessible only to a few privileged local people and to Pakistani military and civilian officials. Then, with the assistance of the Chinese government, Pakistan
Pakistan
began construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which was completed in 1978.

A view of Jaglote, Gore, from a tunnel on Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway.

The Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway connects Islamabad
Islamabad
to Gilgit
Gilgit
and Skardu, which are the two major hubs for mountaineering expeditions in Gilgit-Baltistan. The journey from Rawalpindi/ Islamabad
Islamabad
to Gilgit takes approximately 20 to 24 hours. Landslides on the Karakoram Highway are very common. The Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway connects Gilgit
Gilgit
to Tashkurgan Town, Kashgar, China
China
via Sust, the customs and health-inspection post on the Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
side, and the Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved international border crossing in the world at 4,693 metres (15,397 ft). Northern Areas Transport Corporation
Northern Areas Transport Corporation
(NATCO) offers bus and jeep transport service to the two hubs and several other popular destinations, lakes, and glaciers in the area.

The Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway

In March 2006, the respective governments announced that, commencing on 1 June 2006, a thrice-weekly bus service would begin across the boundary from Gilgit
Gilgit
to Kashgar and road-widening work would begin on 600 kilometres (370 mi) of the Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway. There would also be one daily bus in each direction between the Sust
Sust
and Taxkorgan border areas of the two political entities.[113] Pakistan
Pakistan
International Airlines used to fly a Fokker F27 Friendship daily between Gilgit
Gilgit
Airport and Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The flying time was approximately 50 minutes, and the flight was one of the most scenic in the world, as its route passed over Nanga Parbat, a mountain whose peak is higher than the aircraft's cruising altitude. However, the Fokker F27 was retired after a crash at Multan in 2006. Currently, flights are being operated by PIA to Gilgit
Gilgit
on the brand-new ATR 42–500, which was purchased in 2006. With the new plane, the cancellation of flights is much less frequent. Pakistan International Airlines also offers regular flights of a Boeing 737 between Skardu
Skardu
and Islamabad. All flights are subject to weather clearance; in winter, flights are often delayed by several days. A railway through the region has been proposed; see Khunjerab Railway for details. Population Demographics At the last census (1998), the population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
was 870,347.[114] Approximately 14% of the population was urban.[115] The estimated population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
in 2013 was over 2 million. The population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
consists of many diverse linguistic, ethnic, and religious sects, due in part to the many isolated valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains. The ethnic groups include Shins, Yashkuns, Kashmiris, Kashgaris, Pamiris, Pathans, and Kohistanis.[116] A significant number of people from Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
are residing in other parts of Pakistan, mainly in Punjab and Karachi. The literacy rate of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is approximately 72%. Languages Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is a multilingual region where Urdu
Urdu
being a national and official language serves as the lingua franca for inter ethnic communications. English is co-official and also used in education, while Arabic is used for religious purposes. The table below shows a breakup of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
first-language speakers.

Rank Language Detail[117][118][119][120][121][122][123][124]

1 Shina It is a Dardic language spoken by the majority in six tehsils (Gilgit, Diamir/Chilas, Darel/Tangir, Astore, Puniyal/ Gahkuch
Gahkuch
and Rondu).

2 Balti It is spoken by the majority in five tehsils (Skardu/Shigar, Kharmang, Gultari, Khaplu
Khaplu
and Mashabrum). It is from the Tibetan language family and has Urdu
Urdu
borrowings.

3 Burushaski It is spoken by the majority in four tehsils (Nagar 1, Hunza/Aliabad, Nagar II, and Yasin). It is a language isolate that has borrowed considerable Urdu
Urdu
vocabulary.

4 Khowar It is spoken by the majority in two tehsils (Gupis and Ishkomen) but also spoken in Yasin and Puniyal/ Gahkuch
Gahkuch
Tehsils. Like Shina, it is a Dardic language.

5 Wakhi It is spoken by the majority of people in Gojal
Gojal
Tehsil
Tehsil
of Hunza. But it is also spoken in Ishkomen and Yasin Tehsils of District Ghizer. It is classified as eastern Iranian/ Pamiri language.

Others Pashto, Kashmiri, Domaaki (spoken by musician clans in the region) and Gojri languages are also spoken by a significant population of the region.

Religion

Sectarian divide of Gilgit-Baltistan[125]

Sects

Percent

Shia

39.85%

Sunni

30.05%

Ismaili

24%

Noorbakhshis

6.1%

The population of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is Muslim
Muslim
and is denominationally the most diverse in the country. The region is also the only Shia-majority area in an otherwise Sunni-dominant Pakistan.[126] People in the Skardu
Skardu
district are mostly Shia, while Diamir and Astore districts have Sunni majorities. Ghanche has a Noorbakhshi
Noorbakhshi
population, and Ghizar has an Ismaili
Ismaili
majority.[127] The populations in Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar districts are composed of a mix of all of these sects.[125] In 1948, the Shias and Ismailis constituted about 85% of the population. The proportion was brought down by General Zia ul-Haq through a conscious policy of demographic change by encouraging the migration of Sunnis from other provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The policy is said to have been motivated by a desire to counter the growing sectarian consciousness of the Shias after the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
in 1979.[128] Culture

Architecture

Baltit fort, Hunza

Khaplu
Khaplu
Palace

Chaqchan Mosque, Khaplu

"Mostly the architecture have been influenced by Tibetan Architecture as the above images are testimonials of it."[18]

Dance of Swati Guests with traditional music at baltit fort 2014

Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
is home to diversified cultures, ethnic groups, languages and backgrounds.[129] Major cultural events include the Shandoor Polo
Polo
Festival, Babusar Polo
Polo
Festival and Jashn-e-Baharan or the Harvest Time Festival (Navroz).[129] Traditional dances include: Old Man Dance in which more than one person wears old-style dresses; Cow Boy Dance (Payaloo) in which a person wears old style dress, long leather shoes and holds a stick in hand and the Sword Dance in which the participants show taking one sword in right and shield in left. One to six participants can dance in pairs. Sports

Polo
Polo
in progress with the shandur lake in background, Shandur
Shandur
Ghizer.

Many types of sports are in currency, throughout the region, but most popular of them is Polo.[130][131] Almost every bigger valley has a polo ground, polo matches in such grounds attract locals as well as foreigners visitors during summer season. One of such polo tournament is held in Shandur
Shandur
each year and polo teams of Glgit with Chitral participates.[132] Though very internationally unlikely, but even For some local historians like Hassan Hasrat from skardu and for some national writers like Ahmed Hasan Dani it was originated in same region.[133] for testimonies they present the Epic of King Gesar
Epic of King Gesar
of balti version where king gesar started polo by killing his step son and hit head of cadaver with a stick thus started the game[134] they also held that the very simple rules of local polo game also testifies its primitiveness. The English word Polo
Polo
has balti origin, that is spoken in same region, dates back to the 19th century which means ball.[135][136] Other popular sports are Football, Cricket, Volleyball
Volleyball
(mostly play in winters) and other minor local sports. with growing facilities and particular local geography Climbing, trekking and other similar sports are also getting popularity. Samina Baig
Samina Baig
from Hunza valley is the only Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest
Mount Everest
and also the youngest Muslim
Muslim
woman to climb Everest, having done so at the age of 21 while Hassan Sadpara
Hassan Sadpara
from Skardu
Skardu
valley is the first Pakistani to have climbed six eight-thousanders including the world's highest peak Everest
Everest
(8848m) besides K2 (8611m), Gasherbrum I
Gasherbrum I
(8080m), Gasherbrum II
Gasherbrum II
(8034m), Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat
(8126 m), Broad Peak
Broad Peak
(8051m). See also

Geography portal Asia portal South Asia portal Pakistan
Pakistan
portal

List of mountains in Pakistan Kashmir
Kashmir
conflict Sart Balti language Balti people

Notes

^ He mentions twice a people called Dadikai, first along with the Gandarioi, and again in the catalogue of king Xerxes's army invading Greece. Herodotus
Herodotus
also mentions the gold-digging ants of Central Asia. ^ In the 1st century, Pliny repeats that the Dards
Dards
were great producers of gold. ^ Ptolemy
Ptolemy
situates the Daradrai on the upper reaches of the Indus

References

^ a b c d Weightman, Barbara A. (2 December 2005). Dragons and Tigers: A Geography of South, East, and Southeast Asia (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-471-63084-5.  ^ a b c d Shahid Javed Burki 2015. ^ "Skardu". Skardu. Retrieved 16 July 2015.  ^ "Pir Karam Ali Shah appointed GB Governor". The News. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2011-01-28.  ^ "In the saddle: New CM has a vision for Gilgit-Baltistan". The Express Tribune. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.  ^ a b "UNPO: Gilgit
Gilgit
Baltistan: Impact Of Climate Change On Biodiversity". unpo.org. Retrieved 20 June 2016.  ^ Legislative Assembly will have directly elected 24 members, besides six women and three technocrats. " Gilgit
Gilgit
Baltistan: New Pakistani Package or Governor Rule" 3 September 2009, The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) ^ a b c "Symbols of Gilgit-Baltistan". knowpakistan.gov.in. Retrieved 14 August 2013.  ^ a b c "Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
Key Indicators" (PDF). Retrieved 14 August 2013.  ^ Hinman, Bonnie (15 September 2011), We Visit Pakistan, Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc., p. 41, ISBN 978-1-61228-103-2  ^ [1][dead link] ^ The Myth of Gilgit-Baltistan's Linkage with Jammu
Jammu
& Kashmir ^ In Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, residents see experiment with autonomy as 'illusion', Christian Science Monitor, 28 November 2011 ^ Sering, Senge H., "Constitutional Impasse in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
(Jammu and Kashmir): The Fallout", Strategic Analysis, 34 (3): 354–358, doi:10.1080/09700161003658998, (Subscription required (help)), Instead of the chief minister, the order rests all administrative, political and judicial authority with the governor, which makes him the supreme authority and portrays the assembly as a toothless tiger. At best, the order legitimises Pakistan's occupation and claims political rights for the locals without changing the power equation.  ^ a b c Singh, Pallavi (29 April 2010). "Gilgit-Baltistan: A question of autonomy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 December 2016. But it falls short of the main demand of the people of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
for a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province and for Pakistani citizenship to its people.  ^ a b c Shigri, Manzar (12 November 2009). "Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas go to polls". Reuters. Retrieved 27 December 2016. Many of the 1.5 million people of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
oppose integration into Kashmir
Kashmir
and want their area to be merged into Pakistan
Pakistan
and declared a separate province.  ^ a b c d Schofield, Victoria (2000). Kashmir
Kashmir
in Conflict: India, Pakistan, and the Unending War. I.B. Tauris. pp. 180–181.  ^ a b "Episode 1: A Window to Gilgit-Baltistan".  ^ By Ian Hibbert. Alpamayo to Everest: It's Not About the Summit.  ^ Petech, Luciano (1977). The Kingdom of Ladakh
Ladakh
c. 950–1842 A.D. Istituto Italiano per il media ed Estremo Oriente.  ^ By Rafi U. Samad. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat ...  ^ Sen, Tansen (2015). "Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of India– China
China
Relations, 600–1400". Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442254732. Retrieved 2017-02-19.  ^ Schmidt, Ruth Laila; Kohistani, Razwal (2008). A Grammar of the Shina Language of Indus
Indus
Kohistan. Google Books. ISBN 3447056762. Retrieved 2018-01-23.  ^ Twist, Rebecca L. (2007). "Patronage, Devotion and Politics: A Buddhological Study of the Patola Sahi Dynasty's Visual Record". Ohio State University. ISBN 9783639151718. Retrieved 2017-02-19.  ^ Stein, Mark Aurel (1907). Ancient Khotan: Detailed Report of Archaeological Explorations in Chinese Turkestan. vol. 1. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. pp. 4–18.  ^ a b Robert W. Bradnock (1994). South Asian Handbook. Trade & Travel Publications. p. 1168.  ^ a b Neelis, Jason (2011). Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks. brill.com. p. 177. ISBN 9789004181595. Retrieved 2018-02-21.  ^ Stein, Aurel (2011). "Archæological Notes form the Hindukush Region". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. 76 (1-2): 5–24. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00098713. ISSN 0035-869X. Sri-Nava-Surendraditya-Nandideva  ^ "Baltistan". tibetan incyclopedia.  ^ 董誥. " 卷0039#冊勃律國王文" (in Chinese).  全唐文. 0039. Wikisource.  ^ " 卷221下" (in Chinese).  新唐書. 221 bottom. Wikisource.  ^ August Hermann Francke. Antiquities of Indian Tibet, Part 1.  ^ (in Chinese)  新唐書 [New Book of Tang]. 221. Wikisource.  ^ René Grousset. The Rise and Splendour of the Chinese Empire. p. 160.  ^ By Angela Falco Howard. Chinese Sculpture. p. 313.  ^ Mock, John (October 2013). "A Tibetan Toponym from Afghanistan" (PDF). Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines. Centre national de la recherche scientifique (27): 5–9. ISSN 1768-2959. Retrieved 2018-01-22.  ^ By Henry Osmaston, Philip Denwood. Recent Research on Ladakh
Ladakh
4 & 5: Proceedings of the Fourth and Fifth ...  ^ P. Stobdan,. The last colony: Muzaffarabad-Gilgit-Baltistan.  ^ International Council on Archives, National Archives of Pakistan. Guide to the Sources of Asian History: National archives, Provincial archives, District archives.  ^ Philippe Fabry, Yousuf Shahid. Wandering with the Indus.  ^ Francke, August Hermann (1907), A History of Western Tibet: One of the Unknown Empires, Asian Educational Services, pp. 164–, ISBN 978-81-206-1043-9  ^ By S.R. Bakshi. Kashmir: History and People.  ^ By Sanjeev Kumar Bhasin. Amazing Land Ladakh: Places, People, and Culture.  ^ By Shridhar Kaul, H. N. Kaul. Ladakh
Ladakh
Through the Ages, Towards a New Identity.  ^ Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion ...  ^ By Peter Berger, Frank Heidemann. The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory.  ^ Yaqoob Khan Bangash (2010) Three Forgotten Accessions: Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 38:1, 125–126, DOI: 10.1080/03086530903538269 ^ "Quick guide: Kashmir
Kashmir
dispute". BBC News. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 14 June 2009.  ^ "Who changed the face of '47 war?". Times of India. 14 August 2005. Retrieved 14 August 2005.  ^ Bangash 2010, p. 128: [Ghansara Singh] wrote to the prime minister of Kashmir: 'in case the State accedes to the Indian Union, the Gilgit
Gilgit
province will go to Pakistan', but no action was taken on it, and in fact Srinagar
Srinagar
never replied to any of his messages. ^ Snedden, Christopher (2013). Kashmir-The Untold Story. HarperCollins Publishers India. ISBN 9789350298985. Similarly, Muslims in Western Jammu
Jammu
Province, particularly in Poonch, many of whom had martial capabilities, and Muslims in the Frontier Districts Province strongly wanted J&K to join Pakistan.  ^ Schofield 2003, pp. 63–64. ^ Bangash 2010 ^ Victoria Schofield (2000). Kashmir
Kashmir
in Conflict: India, Pakistan
Pakistan
and the Unending War. I.B.Tauris. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-1-86064-898-4.  ^ Bangash 2010, p. 133. ^ Yaqoob Khan Bangash (2010) Three Forgotten Accessions: Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 38:1, 132, DOI: 10.1080/03086530903538269 ^ Yaqoob Khan Bangash (2010) Three Forgotten Accessions: Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 38:1, 137, DOI: 10.1080/03086530903538269 ^ Bangash, Yaqoob Khan (9 January 2016). "Gilgit-Baltistan—part of Pakistan
Pakistan
by choice". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 5 January 2017. Nearly 70 years ago, the people of the Gilgit
Gilgit
Wazarat revolted and joined Pakistan
Pakistan
of their own free will, as did those belonging to the territories of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin and Punial; the princely states of Hunza and Nagar also acceded to Pakistan. Hence, the time has come to acknowledge and respect their choice of being full-fledged citizens of Pakistan.  ^ Chitralekha Zutshi (2004). Languages of Belonging: Islam, Regional Identity, and the Making of Kashmir. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 309–. ISBN 978-1-85065-700-2.  ^ a b c Ershad Mahmud 2008, p. 24. ^ Sokefeld, Martin (November 2005), "From Colonialism to Postcolonial Colonialism: Changing Modes of Domination in the Northern Areas of Pakistan", The Journal of Asian Studies, 64 (4): 939–973, doi:10.1017/S0021911805002287  ^ Schofield 2003, p. 66. ^ Bajwa, Farooq (2013), From Kutch to Tashkent: The Indo- Pakistan
Pakistan
War of 1965, Hurst Publishers, pp. 22–24, ISBN 978-1-84904-230-7  ^ Bose, Tapan K. (2004). Raṇabīra Samāddāra, ed. Peace Studies: An Introduction To the Concept, Scope, and Themes. Sage. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-7619-9660-6.  ^ Varshney, Ashutosh (1992), "Three Compromised Nationalisms: Why Kashmir
Kashmir
has been a Problem" (PDF), in Raju G. C. Thomas, Perspectives on Kashmir: the roots of conflict in South Asia, Westview Press, p. 212, ISBN 978-0-8133-8343-9  ^ Warikoo, Kulbhushan (2008). Himalayan Frontiers of India: Historical, Geo-Political and Strategic Perspectives (1st ed.). Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-415-46839-8.  ^ Snedden 2013, p. 91. ^ Sahni 2009, p. 73. ^ International Crisis Group 2007, p. 5. ^ Bansal 2007, p. 60. ^ a b From the fringes: Gilgit-Baltistanis silently observe elections, Dawn, 1 May 2013. ^ Priyanka Singh 2013, p. 16. ^ Raman 2009, p. 87. ^ Behera 2007, p. 180. ^ a b c Ershad Mahmud 2008, p. 25. ^ Chellaney, Brahma (2011). Water: Asia's New Battleground. Georgetown University Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-1-58901-771-9.  ^ "China's Interests in Shaksgam Valley". Sharnoff's Global Views.  ^ International Crisis Group 2007, pp. 8–9. ^ Ershad Mahmud 2008, pp. 28–29. ^ Ershad Mahmud 2008, p. 25-26. ^ Ershad Mahmud 2008, p. 27. ^ Ershad Mahmud 2008, pp. 26–27. ^ Ershad Mahmud 2008, p. 32. ^ Ershad Mahmud, Gilgit-Baltistan: A province or not, The News on Sunday, 24 January 2016. ^ Antia Mato Bouzas (2012) Mixed Legacies in Contested Borderlands: Skardu
Skardu
and the Kashmir
Kashmir
Dispute, Geopolitics, 17:4, 874, DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2012.660577 ^ Naqash, Tariq (9 July 2015). "AJK opposes giving provincial status to GB". Dawn. Retrieved 27 December 2016. MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir
Kashmir
(AJK) Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed warned the federal government on Wednesday against any attempt to convert Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
into a province of Pakistan.  ^ Dividing governance: Three new districts notified in G-B, The Express Tribune, 5 February 2017. ^ " Pakistan
Pakistan
abolished State Subject Rule in Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
in 1974-Those Troubled Peaks".  ^ "GB's aspirations".  ^ a b "Gilgit-Baltistan: A question of autonomy". Indian Express. September 21, 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-23.  ^ Shigri, Manzar. "Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas go to polls". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-02-23.  ^ "Pakistani president signs Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
autonomy order _English_Xinhua". News.xinhuanet.com. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2010-06-05.  ^ "Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
autonomy". Dawn. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2013-02-23.  ^ "Skardu.pk".  ^ "Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
part of Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir: India". Times of India. Press Trust of India. March 10, 2006.  ^ "Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
divided into three divisions – The Express Tribune". tribune.com.pk. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2016.  ^ "Mehdi Shah announces formation of 2 Divisions, 2 sub-divisions and 4 Tehsils in Gilgit
Gilgit
Baltistan
Baltistan
– PAMIR TIMES – Voices of the Mountain Communities". pamirtimes.net. Retrieved 20 June 2016.  ^ "Wrangling over new Astore district headquarters". Dawn Newspaper Internet Edition. Retrieved 2006-11-17.  ^ a b "Gilgit-Baltistan: Districts & Places – Population Statistics in Maps and Charts". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 20 June 2016.  ^ Shafqat Hussain 2015. ^ "Pak population increased by 46.9% between 1998 and 2011". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 January 2016.  ^ "Statistical Booklet on Gilgit-Baltistan" (PDF). Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-11.  ^ Tropical Bryology ^ "Rock Carvings and Inscriptions along the Karakorum Highway (Pakistan) –- a brief introduction".  ^ "Between gandhara and the silk roads".  ^ WWF Pakistan. "Climate of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
(formerly Northern Areas)". WWF Pakistan. Retrieved 2009-06-11.  ^ http://gilgit-baltistan.com/weather/ ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. " Baltistan
Baltistan
(region, Northern Areas, Kashmir, Pakistan) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-06-05.  ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. " Gilgit
Gilgit
( Kashmir
Kashmir
region, Indian subcontinent) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-06-05.  ^ " Pakistan
Pakistan
Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
autonomy". Dawn.Com. 2009-09-09. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-05.  ^ "Welcome to PAKISTANALPINE.COM". pakistanalpine.com. Retrieved 20 June 2016.  ^ Baltistan
Baltistan
in History, Banat Gul Afridi ^ "Kashgar- Gilgit
Gilgit
bus service planned". Dawn Newspaper Internet Edition. Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2006-11-17.  ^ "Administrative Divisions and Population of the Northern Areas (1998)". Northern Areas Management Information System. Retrieved 2006-11-17.  ^ "Population, poverty and environment" (PDF). Northern Areas Strategy for Sustainable Development. Retrieved 2006-11-17.  ^ "Pakistan's Fragile Foundations". Council on Foreign Relations. 2009-03-12.  ^ "International Programs".  ^ "Khowar – South Asia Blog".  ^ Katy, Gardner (1999). Leif O. Manger, ed. Muslim
Muslim
diversity: local Islam in global contexts. Routledge. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7007-1104-8.  ^ "Election : Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
– 8 Languages, 10 Ethnic Groups, 6 Districts, 4 Religious sects – 24 National Assembly Seats ! – GILGIT BALTISTAN (GB)".  ^ Colin P. Masica (1993), The Indo-Aryan Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-29944-6, ... he agreed with Grierson in seeing Rajasthani influence on Pahari and 'Dardic' influence on (or under) the whole Northwestern group + Pahari [...] Sindhi and including 'Lahnda', Dardic, Romany and West Pahari, there has been a tendency to transfer of 'r' from medial clusters to a position after the initial consonant ...  ^ S. Munshi, Keith Brown (editor), Sarah Ogilvie (editor) (2008), Concise encyclopedia of languages of the world, Elsevier, ISBN 0-08-087774-5, retrieved 2010-05-11, Based on historical sub-grouping approximations and geographical distribution, Bashir (2003) provides six sub-groups of the Dardic languages ... CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Amar Nath Malik (1995), The phonology and morphology of Panjabi, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, ISBN 81-215-0644-1, retrieved 2010-05-26, ... drakhat 'tree' ...  ^ electricpulp.com. "DARDESTĀN".  ^ a b "Sectarian conflict in Gilgit-Baltistan" (PDF). pildat. May 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2013.  ^ Naumann & Fischer-Tahir 2013, p. 87. ^ Spencer C. Tucker & Priscilla Roberts 2008, p. 917. ^ Raman 2009, p. 79. ^ a b "Culture and Heritage of Gilgit". visitgilgitbaltistan.gov.pk. Gov.Pk. Retrieved 23 April 2015.  ^ Amanullah Khan. Gilgit
Gilgit
Baltistan, a disputed territory or a fossil of intrigues?.  ^ F. M. Khan. The story of Gilgit, Baltistan
Baltistan
and Chitral: a short history of two millenniums AD 7-1999.  ^ edited by James H. Mills. Subaltern Sports: Politics and Sport in South Asia. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Filippo De Filippi, Luigi Amedeo di Savoia (duca degli Abruzzi). Karakoram
Karakoram
and Western Himalaya
Himalaya
1909.  ^ edited by Edward Delmar Morgan. Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of Orientalists ..., Volume 2. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Israr-ud-Din. Proceedings of the Third International Hindu Kush Cultural Conference. Oxford University Press, 2008 – Reference – 540 pages.  ^ Banat Gul Afridi. Baltistan
Baltistan
in History. 

Bibliography

Bangash, Yaqoob Khan (2010), "Three Forgotten Accessions: Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar", The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 38 (1): 117–143, doi:10.1080/03086530903538269, (Subscription required (help))  Bansal, Alok (2007), "In Pursuit of Forced Assimilation: Sectarian and Ethnic Marginalisation in Gilgit-Baltistan", India
India
Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, 63 (2): 56–80, doi:10.1177/097492840706300203, (Subscription required (help))  Burki, Shahid Javed (2015), Historical Dictionary of Pakistan, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 228, ISBN 978-1-4422-4148-0  Behera, Navnita Chadha (2007), Demystifying Kashmir, Pearson Education India, ISBN 81-317-0846-2  Bouzas, Antia Mato (12 January 2013), "Securitization and Development as Modes of Peripheralization in North-Eastern Pakistan", in Matthias Naumann; Andrea Fischer-Tahir, Peripheralization: The Making of Spatial Dependencies and Social Injustice, Springer Science & Business Media, pp. 77–98, ISBN 978-3-531-19018-1  Hussain, Shafqat (2015), Remoteness and Modernity: Transformation and Continuity in Northern Pakistan, Yale University Press, p. 14, ISBN 978-0-300-20555-8  International Crisis Group (2007), Discord in Pakistan's Northern Areas (PDF), Brussels: International Crisis Group  Mahmud, Ershad (2008), "The Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
Reforms Package 2007: Background, Phases and Analysis", Policy Perspectives, 5 (1): 23–40, JSTOR 42909184  Naumann, Matthias; Fischer-Tahir, Andrea (12 January 2013), Peripheralization: The Making of Spatial Dependencies and Social Injustice, Springer Science & Business Media, ISBN 978-3-531-19018-1  Raman, B. (2009), "The Northern Areas of Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir", in K. Warikoo, Himalayan Frontiers of India: Historical, Geo-Political and Strategic Perspectives, Routledge, pp. 78–88, ISBN 978-1-134-03294-5  Schofield, Victoria (2003) [First published in 2000], Kashmir
Kashmir
in Conflict, London and New York: I. B. Taurus & Co, ISBN 1-86064-898-3  Sahni, Sat Paul (2009), "The Ceasefire Line and Line of Control
Line of Control
in Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir: Evolution of a border", in K. Warikoo, Himalayan Frontiers of India: Historical, Geo-Political and Strategic Perspectives, Routledge, pp. 67–77, ISBN 978-1-134-03294-5  Singh, Priyanka (2013), Gilgit
Gilgit
Baltistan: Between Hope and Despair, New Delhi: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, ISBN 978-93-82169-13-0  Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History, HarperCollins India, ISBN 93-5029-898-8  Tucker, Spencer C.; Roberts, Priscilla (12 May 2008), The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History [4 volumes]: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-85109-842-2  Wang, S. (2004). "Of Rivers and Human Rights: the Northern Areas, Pakistan's Forgotten Colony in Jammu
Jammu
and Kashmir". International Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 11: 187. doi:10.1163/1571811041631272. 

External links

Find more aboutGilgit-Baltistanat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Learning resources from Wikiversity

Official Website of the Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
Council Official Website of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Official Tourism Website of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Official Website of Ministry of Kashmir
Kashmir
& Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
at Curlie (based on DMOZ)

Places adjacent to Gilgit-Baltistan

Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan Province
(Afghanistan)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Gilgit-Baltistan

Xinjiang
Xinjiang
(PR China)

Azad Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
(India)

v t e

Territory of Gilgit- Baltistan
Baltistan
topics

Passes

Karakoram
Karakoram
Pass Gyong La Gondogoro Pass Bilafond La

Valleys

Bagrot Valley Naltar Valley Astore Valley Nomal Valley Gilgit
Gilgit
Valley Skardu
Skardu
Valley Khaplu
Khaplu
Valley Kharmang Shigar
Shigar
Valley Roundu Baltistan Stak Valley Galtari

Cities and towns

Skardu Kargil Shigar Khaplu Kharmang Roundu Baltistan Danyor Jalaalabad Balghar Tolti Jutal Barah valley Chalunka Chorbat Valley Ghawari Haldi Hassanabad Karimabad Hushe Valley Keris Valley Khane Kharfak Korphe Yugo, Baltistan Yugupa

Rivers, glaciers and lakes

Baltoro Glacier Biafo Glacier Siachen Glacier Bilafond Glacier Godwin-Austen Glacier Trango Glacier Lake Kharfak Satpara Lake Shangrila Lake Shigar
Shigar
River Shyok River Indus Hushe River Saltoro River

Architecture

Chaqchan Mosque Khanaq-e-Mullah Noorbakshia Khaplu
Khaplu
Bala Khaplu
Khaplu
Palace Shigar
Shigar
Fort Skardu
Skardu
Fort Baltit Fort Amburik Mosque

See also

Provincial Highways of Gilgit-Baltistan Karakoram
Karakoram
Highway Ladakh Line of Control Kargil War Balti language History of Gilgit-Baltistan K2 Balti (food)

v t e

Provinces and territories of Pakistan

Provinces

Balochistan Gilgit-Baltistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Punjab Sindh

Territories

Islamabad
Islamabad
Capital Territory Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Autonomous regions

Azad Jammu
Jammu
& Kashmir

See also: Former administrative units of Pakistan

v t e

Former princely states in Pakistan, by present province (Italics = Salute states)

Balochistan Punjab Sindh Gilgit-Baltistan Other Frontier States, notably Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Kalat (premier state) Kharan Las Bela Makran

Bahawalpur

Khairpur Mirpur State

Hunza Nagar

Amb (Tanawal) Chitral D(h)ir Jando(o)l (Jandul) Ph

.