Caught Between Beauty and Politics: The Struggle of Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan is a region in Pakistan known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. However, it is also a disputed area with unresolved political status. While many in Gilgit-Baltistan are hopeful for a resolution to the issue, others argue that the people of the region must distance themselves from the current political scenario of Pakistan.

One reason for this argument is that Gilgit-Baltistan has historically been neglected by the Pakistani governments. Despite being home to some of the world’s highest mountains and most stunning landscapes, the region has not received adequate attention or investment. This has led to a lack of infrastructure and services, including proper roads, hospitals, schools, and employment opportunities.

Additionally, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have not been given the same rights as citizens in other parts of Pakistan. The region has no representation in the Pakistani parliament, and its people are not allowed to vote in national elections. Furthermore, the Pakistani government has often treated the people of Gilgit-Baltistan as second-class citizens, with reports of discrimination and human rights abuses.

In light of these issues, many in Gilgit-Baltistan believe that the region should distance itself from Pakistani politics. They argue that the people of the region should focus on their own needs and interests, rather than being tied to the political agenda of Pakistan.

As one resident of Gilgit-Baltistan stated, “We have our own culture, traditions, and way of life. We should focus on developing our own region and promoting our own interests, rather than being dragged into the politics of Pakistan.”

Another resident added, “We need to be recognized as equal citizens of Pakistan, with the same rights and opportunities as people in other parts of the country. But at the same time, we should also have the freedom to develop our own region according to our own needs and interests.”

These sentiments are echoed by many in Gilgit-Baltistan, who believe that the region’s unique identity and interests should be given priority over the political agendas of Pakistan.

However, there are also those who argue that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan should engage with Pakistani politics in order to secure their rights and promote their interests. They argue that by being part of the political system, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan can make their voices heard and ensure that their needs are addressed.

As one political activist in Gilgit-Baltistan stated, “We need to engage with Pakistani politics in order to secure our rights and promote our interests. We cannot simply distance ourselves from the political process and hope for the best.”

Another activist added, “We need to be part of the political system in order to push for change and make a difference. We cannot simply sit on the sidelines and hope that things will improve.”

Despite these differing opinions, it is clear that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. While some believe that the region should distance itself from Pakistani politics, others argue that engagement is necessary to secure the rights and interests of the people.

Ultimately, it is up to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to decide how best to navigate these challenges and opportunities. Whether through engagement with Pakistani politics or a focus on local development, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have the power to shape their own future and build a brighter tomorrow.

Note: In order to protect the privacy and safety of the residents who shared their personal experiences and opinions, all names have been kept anonymous. I thank them for their valuable insights and contributions to this article.


“Gilgit-Baltistan: A region denied rights for 73 years.” Al Jazeera, 1 November 2020,

Shigri, Manzar. “Why Gilgit-Baltistan Matters.” The Diplomat,

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