Pakistan is poised to upgrade Gilgit Baltistan to provincial status and with this one step will be able to fulfill at least seven decades of Gilgit-Baltistan people’s demand to join the mainland constitutionally, secure the important geo-strategic strategic path of China Pakistan Economic Corridor and protect tourism. , the economic interests of water and energy with the construction of the Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha dams.
However, several parties have raised objections to the divergent narrative shifting that needs to be addressed. All stakeholders including the key political parties have approved the proposal to grant provisional provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan. The decisions will fulfill the long-term aspirations of the community and will help to address local problems and issues of representation.
In September 2020, the Pakistani government announced its intention to make Gilgit-Baltistan a temporary province with representation in Parliament. On 1 November 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his government would grant temporary provincial status to the region.
The government also issued a new political map on August 4, 2020, showing the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan as disputed areas awaiting resolution under a UN Security Council resolution.
On March 9, 2021, the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly unanimously adopted a resolution to make the region the provisional province of the country. The resolution states that a bill to amend Pakistan’s constitution to declare Gilgit-Baltistan a province must be passed while taking into account Pakistan’s main stance on Kashmir.
Opposition parties agreed in principle to support the move to make Gilgit-Baltistan a temporary province. The people of the region want their territory to be combined into Pakistan and declared a separate province.
This action will not have a negative impact on the Kashmir issue as it will be linked to a final resolution of the issue based on Pakistan’s main stance. The Gilgit-Baltistan people will continue to support their Kashmiri brethren politically and morally.
Pakistan only granted temporary provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan while its stance on the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir remains the same. Pakistan and China are jointly developing Karakoram via Gilgit-Baltistan while China Pakistan Economic Corridor follows the same route.
The Kashmiri leadership has been trusted and they already understand that India is counting on distorting facts and fake news on this issue.
Pakistan’s political and military leadership has raised the issue of Jammu and India’s Illegally Occupied Kashmir in international forums including the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly and human rights organizations and has made no compromises on the right to self-determination of Kashmiris.
Past governments followed India’s pacifying policies and put the Kashmir issue on the back burner. Such attitudes in Kashmir prompted Modi to change the status of Jammu and India’s Illegally Occupied Kashmir.
The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are fighting for the liberation of Gilgit-Baltistan and are demanding the provisional status of a province, the new arrangement will have provisions to fulfill a vote in accordance with a United Nations Security Council resolution for a final resolution of this issue.
Granting provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan will be an important step in paving a new path for development in the area. The Prime Minister is also expected to make a key statement regarding the granting of temporary provincial status of Pakistan to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The federal government has embarked on a comprehensive program for tourism development in the Northern Territory, a region second to none in beauty, charm and hospitality in the world. Infrastructure development related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor has made travel easier and will contribute to positive developments.