Gilgit Baltistan’s Potential Provincial Status to Raise Serious Concerns Over Kashmir

The government has decided to make Gilgit-Baltistan the fifth province of Pakistan. Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada has claimed that a committee, under the chair of Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz, had proposed to give Gilgit-Baltistan the status of a full-fledged province.

He further notified that a bill will be presented in the National Assembly of Pakistan for the amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan so that it incorporates Gilgit-Baltistan as a province of Pakistan. Until now, Gilgit-Baltistan has been considered a separate state which is a part of Pakistan.

Pirzada added that Nawaz Sharif will make use of his special powers as the Prime Minister of Pakistan to grant the region the status of a province.

Reports suggest that CPEC is the major reason behind this change. China is uncomfortable with the current ‘undefined’ status of Gilgit-Baltistan which puts its billions of dollars’ worth of investment at risk since the new economic route passes through this region.

China needs assurance from Pakistan that the Gilgit-Baltistan region would not be put to risk in Kashmir negotiations and will have an official provincial status.

The Controversy

During the whole process, Azad Kashmir and Jammu Kashmir’s leaderships have been kept out of the loop. Kashmiri activists aren’t too happy with the decision and want the government to avoid taking a step which could hurt the Kashmir cause.

Where the people of Gilgit-Baltistan will receive complete rights of a citizen of Pakistan and be part of the democratic circle of Pakistan as a proper province, the Kashmiris will undoubtedly feel left out.

The move could also generate anxiety across the Line of Control (LoC).

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution demanding all constitutional and economic rights to be given to Gilgit-Baltistan without formally declaring it as a province.

Until now, Pakistan and India have maintained a separate identity over the disputed areas. The decision could hurt Kashmir’s freedom campaign. India could follow suit and convert forcefully occupied regions into provinces – a formal part of India. The decision could also weaken Pakistan’s case in front of international regulation bodies like the UN.

In case of a referendum of the Kashmir region, the separation of Gilgit-Baltistan could reduce votes in Pakistan’s favor.

Historically, Pakistan has always considered Gilgit-Baltistan as a part of Kashmir. Back when Pakistan got its independence, Gilgit-Baltistan was a set of princely states under Jammu and Kashmir but had accepted an unconditional merger with Pakistan.

However, when India took over some of Kashmir region, Gilgit-Baltistan was presented as a part of Kashmir so that it could help swing the vote in favor of the Muslim majority in the region.

Final Words

The Pakistani government needs to consult all stakeholders, including the representatives of the Azad and Jammu Kashmir. Perhaps a middle ground can be achieved by thinking out of the box and giving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan the rights they demand without damaging the Kashmir cause or going against what Pakistan has stood for during the past seven decades.

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]

  • GilgitBaltistan must be given their full constitutional rights. It will not put the fate of Kashmir in risk . rather it will motivate the Occupied Kashmir to raise voice for their rights and demand their alliance with Pakistan. In case Pakistan did not give rights to GB , This will set a bad example of Pakistani Government suppressing the people of Gilgit Baltistan and making them deprived of their due rights. Cheers!
    A Proud GBian

    • You mean the same rights pak gave to bloch after using their resources and same they gave to Bengal.. They are using our resources and what did they gave us in return. Name any Engineering university or medical university that provides high class education. The sectarian war pak army created in Bloristan what was that for… Our leaders are in jail look at Baba jan who has spent more than half of his life in prison for just demanding basic rights for his state

      • Sure.. the same right they provided to East Pakistanis and now poor Balochs. I don’t think anyone of them even know the reality of 1971 war.
        How would they? When they are taught in history books that entire Indian subcontinent was Pakistan once and Hindustan is their enemy. They’re far far away from realities. My Pakistani friends in the USA introduce themselves using Hindu names and nationality. That’s the reality. But let them be in denial forever.
        The Kashmir conflict is nothing more than creating another state in name of religion and Islamic radicalization.
        India is done getting division in name of religion. If it keeps dividing in name of religion and ethnicity, then entire Indian subcontinent which is nothing more than amalgamation of various ethnicities and religion, will break down into pieces.
        Besides, we have seen what happens when an independent state is created in the name of religion. Pakistani which was initially secular today is radicalized and these poor folks don’t even know that.
        GOD bless them all and enlighten them!!

        • The reality of 1971 has been blown open by Sharmila Bose’s ground breaking book “Dead Reckoning” which severely questions the claims made by Bangladesh and Bengali nationalists. It also questions why Bengali nationalists were butchering Biharis, Assamese and Buddhist Monks in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, even though the latter never even fought for Pakistan in 1971.

          Any answer for that? You Indians try too hard in making this a religious issue. The Kashmir dispute is a NATIONALIST issue. Kashmiris don’t regard themselves as Indians…they are a native Indus nation and Indus nations primarily reside in Pakistan today.

          India is formed by Gangetic and Dravidian nations. This is why East Pakistan (Bengalis) left Pakistan because there Gangetic culture clashed with our Indus culture. This is also why Kashmiris continue wanting to merge with Pakistan because Kashmir’s culture is a native Indus culture…which clashes with India’s Gangetic-Dravidian culture.

          And you want to talk about history books? You Indians are taught that you won the 1947, 1965 and 1999 wars. Talk about living in a fools paradise. Jesus Christ!

      • You can barely spell Balochistan and are giving us lectures? Please spare us, it’s nauseating.

  • Kashmir issue will remain as it is untill dooms day to be honest. India will never let referendum happen in Kashmir, And Pakistan will never be able to force India in any case (both are nuclear-powered countries).
    So Jammu Kashmir will remain in India and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan. So its better to give all the rights to a population which is part of Pakistan. What is fault of them? They are Pakistani and Let them be as Pakistani as any one else is.

    P.S: Dont abuse me incase of different opinion. I have my opinion and you could have a different one. I have mentioned mine, you could your’s

    • You are right that Kashmir problem has not any mutual acceptable resolution except declaring LOC as international border. So keeping its separate identity is not helpful in this cause.
      Just to clarify that as per UN resolution Pakistan has to withdraw from Kashmir first which was not acceptable to Pakistan due to poor record of Indians. So in principle neither India nor Pakistan wants to enforce UN resolution.

      • Did you say poor records of Indians? It was Pakistani army that lead to kabaili invasion in Kashmir in spite of signing a standstill agreement. Guys, take a little pain and read the conflict in detail or else listen to think tanks specializing in South Asia.

        • Pakistan had no army in 1947, so what exactly are you whining about? Tribal people volunteered to fight along with small armies of local leaders landlords. For example, Gilgit organized its own fighting force (Gilgit Scouts) to rebel against Hari Singh’s illegal accession.

          As for the Standsill Agreement to be valid, both sides have to be standing still. The agreement became void the second India illegally started sending Dogra troopers into the Kashmir Valley from Jammu because they realized Kashmir was lost. Poonch was in complete rebellion and the Kashmir Valley was teetering towards complete civil war.

          You Indians create problems yourselves and then cry wolf. At the end of it, you ended up losing 1/3rd of the J&K. Thankfully my people (Gilgitis) fought for our Independence and sent your Ghansara Singh and his troops packing on November 1st, 1947…GB’s independence day.

      • What both of you are overlooking is the fact that if the LoC becomes the official border and Pakistan declares GB a province, it will practically spell an end to that UN resolution on Kashmir. But that won’t stop the rebellion in IOK. In Pakistan’s own interest, the LoC should become the official border, make both AJK and GB provinces and morally support IOK’s separatists.

        If tomorrow IOK State Legislature votes to secede from India and merge with Pakistan, the world community (including India) will have to accept it. India recognizes IOK’s State Legislature.

        If the State Legislature itself votes to leave India, then India has no moral ground. There army will be seen not only as an aggressor but also an occupier.

        Pakistan pretty much doesn’t even have to do anything. They just need to sit back and light a match in IOK…and the dominoes will fall one after the other.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Indian Punjab follows suit and establishes Khalistan, which is looking more and more a reality.

  • They should make it 5th State back at 1950’s, anyways its better decision, it will not effect Kashmir cause because there is very low ratio of Kashmeries who want “Interdependent Kashmir”, mostly want to be a part of Pakistan, and there are none who want to stay with India. in case of referendum, they still vote in the favor of Pakistan.

    • very low want independent Kashmir: Hahahahahahahahahaha Chotye Have you paki’s ever read the UN resolution on Kashmir Issue.

        • Buddy come out of slumber!! You really have no idea of the entire conflict especially UN resolution. Please do yourself a favor by visiting the UN website and read the important compulsory steps towards plebiscite.
          And then research why the plebiscite which was a true solution in 1950s is totally irrational now in 2000s.

          • Yep, I am Kashmeri, and I have no idea, what the heck is going on with Kashmir. Only Indians are knowledgeable here …. ?

          • Screw your plebiscite. That plebiscite is only valid for the entire Kashmir region as a whole. But what’s stopping IOK’s State Legislature from seceding from India? Then you’re f**ked. And you can damn well bet Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti are already in the ISI’s pay roster. It’s not a matter of if…it’s only a matter of when. If I were you, I’d honestly start concentrating more on Indian Punjab and the rising Khalistan movement which your awesome Prime Minister has single-handedly resurrected from the dead.

            Indian occupied Kashmir is practically lost to India. Either way, if IOK becomes a separate country or merges with Pakistan, it’s a win-win situation for Pakistan.

            Kashmir’s natural trade routes all come through Pakistan anyway.

      • Have YOU ever read the UN Resolution 47 which clearly states and the entire territory of Jammu & Kashmir is disputed territory. You Indians keep screaming “J&K izz antagral phart of da indya man” in that annoying nasty Indian accent of yours. LMFAO.

  • in my opinion, they should merge azad kashmir with GilgitBaltistan and make it a fifth state.

    • No they shouldn’t. GB and AJK are two separate entities. GB and AJK should both be made into separate provinces.

      If IOK secedes from India, they can merge into AJK and form J&K.

  • As the author very well suggested​, Pakistan should involve leadership from Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to create a middle ground where the people of GB get all their rights without harming the Kashmir cause. The rights of the people of GB and Kashmir cause are equally important and should be dealt in the same manner with due diligence.

  • Great! Now let’s rename Azad Kashmir to Kashmir and make it the sixth province of Pakistan and be done with it.

  • Didnt expect this low level of journalism from ProPakistani…They posted Indian developed MAP of Gilgit, portraying it as ” Pakistani Controlled”.. How come, Its Part of Pakistan, not a Control territory Like Indian Controlled or occupied Kashmir. Hopefully Mr. Aamir Atta will overlook this blunder from the writer.

  • Now the situation looks different, If the Federal govt is much serious in naming “Gilgit Baltistan” as 5th province than they should tranfer full constitutional right to GB, then the local Govt can perform well, and other thing is that CPEC one of the game changing project is passing through Gilgit Baltistan. This may bring prosperity and development in Gilgit Baltistan.

    • They have already made that intention. The problem is not the Federal government or GB assembly. The problem is these Kashmiri nationalist nut jobs who seem to think that Ladakh and GB are there own personal property, despite the fact GB was never ever part of Kashmir. It was merged into the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir during illegal British rule.

      British colonial rule was an illegal European occupation and nothing between 1842 to 1947 should be considered ground realities.

  • It would be in Pakistan’s own interest to declare GB as a province and AJK as a province as well. Once IOK becomes independent it can choose to merge into Pakistan (with AJK) or remain a separate country.

    Either which way, Kashmir Valley will be dependent on Pakistan. All of its natural trade routes go through Pakistan. There’s a chant Kashmiris use when confronted by Indian soldiers…which is “Kashmir Ki Mandi…Rawalpindi”. This isn’t done deliberately. It’s reality. The reason today why Jammu & Kashmir is economically enviable in India is simply because of the fact it’s natural trade routes are all closed and sealed.

  • We aren’t part of kashmir. .we have our own identity. .but from the day of independence we’re part of issue of kashmir. .and this decision will never destabilize the issue of kashmir.


  • Historically, Pakistan has always considered Gilgit-Baltistan as a part of Kashmir. Back when Pakistan got its independence, Gilgit-Baltistan was a set of princely states under Jammu and Kashmir but had accepted an unconditional merger with Pakistan.

    However, when India took over some of Kashmir region, Gilgit-Baltistan was presented as a part of Kashmir so that it could help swing the vote in favor of the Muslim majority in the region.

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