Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2021

History: The Gilgit-Baltistan Conundrum

By  Sajjad Ahmad   Every year on November 1, the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) officially celebrates its independence from Kashmir’s Dogra family rule. Gilgit was liberated on November 1, 1947 while Baltistan was freed in 1948 as a result of a bloody freedom war. Despite protestations from India and even some Kashmiris, and despite Gilgit Baltistan existing in Pakistani maps as a part of a territory whose status has yet to be determined, the people of GB have never accepted being part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, over which Pakistan and India have been at loggerheads since Independence in 1947. It is instructive to look back at history to understand why. Before its independence, present-day GB was part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the largest princely states of India. This state was created in 1846 after the signing of a treaty between the British and Gulab Singh of the Dogra dynasty. During the first Anglo-Sikh war (1845-1846), Gulab Singh, who was servin

The Faultline Between Pakistan & G-B (II)

By   S. M. Abbas Kazmi WENEVER IT CAME to holding a consultative meeting and a table talk with the local leadership for taking them in to confidence, he would always pose dictatorially himself acting like a Military Governor of an occupied territory. He declared himself as the Political Agent appointed by Pakistan Government and imposed Frontier Crime Rules (FCR) in Gilgit. He is referred to as having threatened the local people that if they did not abide his orders, he would go back with Maj Brown, leaving them at the mercy of the Dogra Forces to retake them. (Brown page: 226) During a meeting, Sardar Aalam Khan, the self-made Political Agent, scolded and humiliated Sub.Major Babar Khan the key-person and the leading hero of the successful revolt against Dogra. The humiliation it is said, was resorted to in presence of other princely figures of Gilgit, who were all very closely related to him. Sardar Aalam Khan warned Babar Khan to confine himself only to his duties in military barrac

The Faultline Between Pakistan & Gilgit-Baltistan

By   S. M. Abbas Kazmi Research and commentary The territory currently called “Gilgit-Baltistan” comprising an extensive area of about 72900 sqr km is encircled by four “Nuke Powers” i,e; China, India, Pakistan and Soviet Russia. It is home to about 1.5 million of people with a diverse demographic constitution to be reckoned with as 40 percent (approx) Tibetans, 40 percent Indo Arians and 20 percent consisting other different ethnic groups. The past history of the region is such that it comprised a cluster of more or less 12 independent States or dominions ruled over by a few dynasties. During 18th Century AD, Dogra Forces conquered Gilgit & Baltistan and made it a part of the Jammu & Kashmir (State). In August 1947, a close relative of the Maharaja of Kashmir, Brigadier Ghansara Singh was posted to Gilgit region as the new Governor of Gilgit whilst the British Officer Major William Brown as the Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts - an arrangement that continued untill 31st October