What is the future of Gilgit Baltistan?

People of Gilgit Baltistan are highly educated, peace-loving and intelligent.

But these days, they’re slightly angry. A few days ago, there were protests in the streets and roads and rumor-mongering was taking place outside Pakistan, What’s happening?. Outside Pakistan, there are some news sources who claim that all of Gilgit Baltistan despise Pakistan. And, that Pakistan Army keeps beating up innocent people. Army-brutality is rampant, and so on. Such news are never true. But something strange is taking place these days. There are news spreading around the world that the people of Gilgit Baltistan have taken it to roads. And, there are protests taking place at the roads. If we look at the internation media, it says that the whole of Gilgit Baltistan is out on the roads. That the people of Gilgit Baltistan are bracing themselves for a mega agitation and Islamabad is completely stumped on this. But, if we check out the same news in Gilgit’s own media Pamir Times or Dawn then we realize what was the problem. But before we can understand the issue, we have to go back a few pages in the book of history. Ever since Pakistan took control of this region, It was being controlled directly from the capital city. Until just a few years ago, Islamabad had all the powers at its discretion. Islamabad could do anything. No rules or regulations. Back then, this region was called FANA:,  Federally Administered Northern Areas. But this region was NOT placed above all rules so that they can be exploited. Actually, it was the exact opposite situation. Pakistan wanted Gilgit Baltistan to be included whenever the UN discussed Kashmir issue. For this reason, Pakistan kept the status of this region “disputed”. This way, Pakistan could give favors to Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. Pakistan wanted to give special subsidies and tax exemtions If these areas were given provincial status then these priviliges would not have been possible. This favoritism was necessary for Pakistani establishment because whenever referendum takes place in Kashmir and Kashmiris on both sides of the border get a choice to live with either Pakistan or India, They must choose Pakistan. Pakistan wanted to insist upon the world to force India on a referendum until 1999, Pakstan had a policy of liberating Kashmir through armed Jihad. But after 1999, Musharraf took charge of the government and devised a new policy. He believed that the solution for Kashmir will come from diplomacy. He initiated bilateral discussions. But first, Agra Summit failed Kathmandu’s meeting also went in vain. Backdoor diplomacy was started Presented the famous 4-point formula. Nothing worked. And, Pakistan also learned that no world-power will make India (their enemy) just to solve the Kashmir issue. On the other hand, corruption and terrorism were hurting Pakistan badly. Then it became clear that Gilgit Baltistan will have to be given equal rights and liabilites as other parts of Pakistan.

In 2007, Musharraf government gave lots of rights to FANA with Legal Framework Order. In 2009, Zardari government made some ammendments and issued a new order. It was called Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order. Today, this piece of law making the system run in Gilgit Baltistan. The basic theory behind this order is that the resource of Gilgit Baltistan will remain in Gilgit Baltistan. This area will be given province-like status. It will have its own legislative assembly. Its own superior court, and so on. But this is where the problem occurs, It was given province-like status but it wasn’t made a province. And this was the actual demand. What this means is that they have province-like authority but the people cannot elect National Assembly members. Nor does Gilgit Baltistan has a Prime MInister, as Azad Kashmir does. It also means that at every platform where the provinces are represented for instance, Council of Common Interest, Indus River System Authority, National Judicial Council, National Hydro-Electric Board, National Finance Commission etc Gilgit Baltistan is not represented anywhere. Because it is not a province yet.

What it means is that every province has a set quota of natural resources, but Gilgit Baltistan does not. At the moment, Gilgit Baltistan gets everything through an order and this order can be changed anytime. On the other hand, all of the taxes that are present in the provinces, have been imposed in Gilgit Baltistan. This is why they are protesting. These protests are not against Pakistan, they are for merging with Pakistan. People of Gilgit Baltistan say that they want to pay taxes but they should also get their rights. All leading opposition parties of Pakistan supported these protests, including PTI and PPP and, the civil society of Pakistan also stood with Gilgit Baltistan. Now the question arises that if Gilgit Baltistan wants to become a province, who has an objection? The simplified answer is that other provinces have objections. Obviously, if new provinces are made in Pakistan then new resource distribution formulas will also be required. What will be the share of water for each province?
What will be the share of finance for each province? All will have to be decided again. It will be a complete chaos Pakistani version of Game of Thrones. This is the reason FATA is not being merged with KPK. This is the reason that new provinces aren’t being made in Pakistan. But, we will have to make them. Spain’s total population is 50 million, and that country has 50 provinces while Pakistan’s population is 200 million but provinces are only four. It seems that new provinces will start emerging on the map from next year and the process will start from Gilgit Baltistan. Because Pakistan cannot afford to make Gilgit angry. A few days ago, Islamabad decided to abolish Gilgit Baltistan Council. This way, all of Islamabad’s powers will be transferred to Gilgit. The next (and last) step would be to declare Gilgit Baltistan the fifth province.


This is K2 (Mount Goodwin Austin).

THE KARAKORAMS. A lot of people believe that the Karakorams are a part the Himalayas. This mountain range is not a part of the Himalayas. This is the “daddy” of Himalayas. The average height of Himalayan mountains is almost 18 thousand feetbut the average height of gigantic Karakoramsis about 23 thousand feet. This is the highest average compared to any other mountain range in the world. Himalayas are also great. They contain Mt. Everest and Nanga Parbat. Himalayas span across Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan. But Himalayas are no Karakorams!. Wanna know why?Let’s compare Karakorams’ tallest mountain K2 with Himalayas’ tallest Mount Everest. Mt. Everest is 200m taller than K2. It is world’s tallest peak. K2 comes at the second place. They say nobody remembers who came second. But let us remember this second-place holder 13 people above the age of 60 have climbed Everest. A 73-year young woman has also conquered Everest. A 13-year old boy and a 13-year old girl have also reached the summit. Blind, amputees and cancer survivors,
all have climbed Everest. And 3 Nepalese have made Everest their playground. Each of them has climbed Everest 21 TIMES!Over 7000 people have conquered Everest so far. Now, wanna know about K2? Only about 300 people have been able to brave K2. But, K2 has claimed more lives than Everest. K2 has claimed more lives than any other in the world. Perhaps that is K2 is known as the Savage Mountain. Most of the Karakoram mountains are extremely tall and extremely dangerous. Perhaps that’s the reason  the Karakorams hold so many world records. Baltoro’s frozen river in the Karakorams can be clearly seen from the space. On the last end of the Karakorams,
lies Siachen Glacier. This a huge sweet-water stock But, it is also world’s highest theatre of war. Pakistani and Indian armiesare contaminating this sweet water resource with their artillery. Our soldiers brave this cold-hell only for their country and do not hesitate in making the ultimate sacrifice but war helps no one. Siachen is melting And, in the next few years, it is feared to die out. What a tragedy it is that nobody cares for such issues in Pakistan. Neither the TV channels, nor the political leaders. I’m getting sidetracked.

Let’s come back to our topic. So what does “Karakoram” mean? It is a Turkish work meaning:
“Black Gravel” or “Black Mountain”. Karakorams got their name because centuries ago – when Qaim Ali Shah was a young man -the main pass through which silk trade took placewas situated in dark shadowy mountains.This pass got named the Karakoram Pass. Hence, the whole mountain range got their name.The Karakoram But, this pass is no more in use. Because it is situated exactly on the Line (out) of Control. These days, Khunjrab Pass is used for trade (with China). Khunjrab is the world’s highest JCP (Joint Checkpost). And, it is the world’s highest trade route. And, the world’s highest ATM is also here. Crossing the Khunjrab Pass is the karakoram Highway. It is one of the world’s most beautiful roads. It is also nicknamed the 8th wonder of the world. And rightly so. Rightly so because it is next to impossible
to construct roads on such places. Let me give you an example. Switzerland’s mountains are quite famous. You must have seen them in (Bollywood) films. Switzerland’s highest point is Monte Rosa And it is rises to 4600 meters. And Karakoram Highway is constructed at 4700 meters. That’s 100 meters above the highest point of the tallest mountain in Switzerland. The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is considered a testament of the Pak-China friendship. And, rightly so. The construction of KKH began in 1959 but it took 20 years to complete it. 810 Pakistani and over 200 Chinese workers gave their lives in the construction of this road. In Gilgit’s China Yaadgaar (China Memorial) graveyard taking the eternal nap, these Chinese brothers still remind us that a resolve can move mountains. Now, Pakistan and China resolve to make CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) and, the gateway of CPEC is the Karakoram Highway. That’s why there’s more work being done on this road. It is being expanded. It is being turned into a year-round trade route instead of a 8-months a year. Karakoram Rail Link will also accompany KKH in future. We, here at Gofeedy.com are extensively researching on CPEC And we will soon be uploading truly great articles on CPEC. So, more on CPEC in those Posts. Let’s talk Karakoram right now. But, what do I talk about Karakorams…
I have already given all the info. But, I do wanna recommend a Hollywood flick Vertical Limit. This film is made on K2. It’s a good movie. If you like mountains then do watch this movie.  You’ll love it.