Pakistan Will Give Temporary Provincial Status to Gilgit – Baltistan
Recently Pakistan has finalized the bill to provide temporary provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.
- Gilgit-Baltistan was a part of the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under Pakistan’s control since November 4, 1947, following the invasion of Kashmir by tribal fighters and Pakistani forces.
- Its name was changed to Northern Areas of Pakistan. It was brought under the direct control of the Federal Government of Pakistan through the Karachi Accords, 1949.
- The main objective of the Gilgit-Baltistan Order (GB Order), 2018 is to include Gilgit-Baltistan as the fifth province of Pakistan.
- Baluchistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh are the other four provinces of Pakistan.
- Presenting its side, India has said that Pakistan has no locus-standi on the areas occupied illegally and forcibly.
- India has claimed that the territory is “an integral part of India since 1947 on the basis of the legitimate, complete and irrevocable annexation of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India”.
Significance of Gilgit-Baltistan:
- Gilgit-Baltistan is located at the contact point of the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and China.
- Strategically important glaciers like the Siachen Glacier are located in Gilgit-Baltistan.
- The Indus river flows through Gilgit-Baltistan before entering Pakistan.
- The hydroelectric potential of the Indus River also makes it important for energy security.
- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the region of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Source – PIB