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Gilgit-Baltistan (Urdu: گلگت بلتستان‎), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is the northernmost administrative territory in Pakistan. It borders Azad Kashmir to the south, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north, the Xinjiang region of China, to the east and northeast, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. According to UNSC Resolution of 1947 the territory is part of the disputed Kashmir region along with Azad Kashmir, Aksai Chin, the Shaksgam Valley, and Jammu, Ladakh, and the Valley of Kashmir.

The territory of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas". It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district and several small former princely states, the larger of which being Hunza and Nagar. In 2009, it was granted limited autonomy and renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan via the Self-Governance Order signed by Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, which also aimed to empower the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, scholars state that the real power rests with the governor and not with chief minister or elected assembly. The population of Gilgit-Baltistan wants to be merged into Pakistan as a separate fifth province and opposes integration with Kashmir. The Pakistani government has rejected Gilgit-Baltistani calls for integration with Pakistan on the grounds that it would jeopardise its demands for the whole Kashmir issue to be resolved according to UN resolutions.

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Gilgit, Pakistan

Gilgit (Urdu, Shina: گلگت‬) is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, consists of seven districts, namely, Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer, Astore, Ghanche, and Hunza-Nagar. The dominant tribe of Gilgit-Baltistan is the Shin, and Shina is the language spoken by the majority of the population all the way from Ghizer in Gilgit-Baltistan to Kohistan in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The town of Gilgit forms a tehsil of Gilgit within Gilgit District. Its ancient name was Sargin, later to be known as Gilit, and it is still called Gilit or Sargin-Gilit by local people. In the Burushaski language, it is named Geelt and in Wakhi and Khowar it is called Gilt. Ghallata is considered its name in ancient Sanskrit literature. The town of Gilgit is one of two major hubs in Gilgit-Baltistan for mountaineering expeditions to the Karakoram and to other peaks in the Himalayas, with the other hub being Skardu. (More...)

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Malika Jawahir Khatun locally known as Dadi Jawari was a 17-century female ruler of Gilgit. She is remembered as the first female ruler in male-dominated society and for her gift of irrigation system, included two canals for drinking water and agrarian purpose. She ruled Gilgit from 1630 till 1660.

"Malika Jawahir Khatun herself shouldered the responsibility of the government, put on male dress, rode on horse and issued instructions in her own name. She took great interest in ameliorating the lot of the people, undertook measures, built many roads in the country.."

Water Channels Built by Dadi Jawari consist of two wide canals known as Ajini Daljah (upper canal) and Kherini Daljah (lower channel). The channels supplied water to agricultural lands in the outskirts what is now Barmas, Nagral, Majini Mohallah, Soni Kot and Kashrote. The channels also helped cultivate the barren lands in peripheries to form new settlements as in earlier times the vernacular settlements were confined to Barmas, Jutial and Napoor. Dadi Juwari had to hire labor from the neighbouring Darrel valley (located in today’s Diamer district) when her subjects or the citizens of the Gilgit refused to take part in the construction of the water channels.

Dadi also built roads in her dominion and undertook various welfare measures to ease the lives of her people.

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Buddha at Kargah in outskirts of Gilgit city

Kargah Buddha is an archaeological site in Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the carved image of Buddha, the carving was carried out in the seventh century in a monastery. It is located near Kargah Nallah, a ravine and is 10 kilometres from Gilgit Town, Gilgit, Pakistan.



Wikipedia in local languages

Urdu edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pashto edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Persian edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Western Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sindh edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Khowar Wikipedia Incubator Project in the language of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan

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Panorama of Sheosar Lake, Deosai National Park, Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan.jpg
Credit: Ishtiaq
A view of the Sheosar lake Skardu.
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