Gilgit - Baltistan

Revisiting Gilgit: There is a need to explore the area of great significance.

Published in Greater Kashmir online Edition on May 07, 2008

The cordial relations between Pakistan and China have a long history, but it is in fact the Northern Areas that share ‘Pakistan’s’ 523-kilometer border with China. The two countries concluded a border agreement in May 1962 that laid the foundation for further cooperation between them in various fields. However, the Karakoram Highway (KKH), also known as the Friendship Highway, opened newer avenues. Immediately after its inauguration, it was opened for tourists and traffic started to run on it. Initially, trade was started on a barter basis. In 1985, both governments made an agreement that says:
 The commissioner, Gilgit and the authorized department of Xinjiang will be the authorities to issue China-Pakistan border pass for drivers, trader organizations and government departments. Similar authorization will be issued by them for the vehicles permits to travel to the other country.

 Subsequently, the Kunjirap Port was opened to the citizens of China and Northern Areas on May 1, 1986 and thus became a full international port. It should be borne in mind that the 1962 agreement had been limited to the people of the Northern Areas and Xinjiang. The 1985 agreement was a landmark agreement that widened the scope of people-to-people contacts and offered immense business opportunities. The Pakistan government set up the Pak-China Trade Organization in Gilgit to regulate travel and trading activities through KKH. This organization established a monopoly over the free trade and a limited group of people were benefiting from it until 1995.  Click for details on orignal source: Revisiting Gilgit


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  1. Dear All,

    Thankx, Mr. Farman Ali, for the inputs and actual facts of SDP. The information u shared is really a challange for the OLD and New committee od SDP, I was of the openion that, through the revenue as Highlighted last year Scretary CBR, the local people r benefiting as shared the worthey Secretary of CBR last year that, local people and shareholders r 40% parterner with the China . But here the story is very different. I think the worthy President also visited the area last year and through news I read that, the villagers were forcely contained in their village and not allowed to Wellcome the President.

    All these r due to the currupted sys and individually interest looking ruling groups. Wish a smooth and safe journy for the Inhabitants of Gojal Hunza, land owners of SDP and share holders.

  2. The artical is a good write about the current business situation in gilgit and also reveals the anxities of the locals about non-locals settling in the area which ofcours is true.
    First I am not surprised that not a lot of people have commented on this article. Gojalies tend to play safe when it come to politics, specially matters that relate to the political question of the future of the area, which I think is a shame.
    Second this article appears in a web site called “the greater kashmir”. Of most things that drives me nuts, being called a Kashmiri or my area as being called part of Kashmir tops the list.
    As far as I am concerned Gojalies should stand up strong when they are forced to become kashmiri. Shouldn’t they?

  3. Sajjad has rightly commented that it really bites to be called Kashmiri or part of Kashmir. Officially we were considered as part of Kashmir. It’s a debatable topic and historically we have to prove our identity.

    Can some one come up with analysis of political history of Hunza pertaining to Kashmir?

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