Pakistan is planning to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth Province.
This is a move that may raise concerns in India as it borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan’s Minister for inter-provincial coordination on 14th March 2017 indicated that a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had proposed giving the status of a Province to Gilgit-Baltistan.
A constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes.
JKLF has warned Pakistan against changing status of Gilgit-Baltistan
Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan.
It has a regional Assembly and an elected Chief Minister.
It is held that China’s concerns about its unsettled status prompted the move, which could signal a historic shift in the country’s position on the future of the wider Kashmir region.All About Gilgit Baltistan Region
- Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, is the northernmost administrative territory of Pakistan.
- Area: 72,971 km²
- Founded: 1 July 1970
- Government body: Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly
- Capital: Gilgit