Identity crisis and constitutional limbo: a case of autonomy and self-determination in Gilgit Baltistan. “A no-man’s land”

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Ali, Sajid
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Gilgit-Baltistan has a long history of foreign incursions and continuous resistance. It had remained under the indirect control of the British, who governed the region through local Rajas. Before departing from Gilgit-Baltistan, the British decided to transfer the administration of Gilgit-Agency (a small part of Gilgit-Baltistan) to the Dogra’s (the rulers of Jammu and Kashmir), which resulted in a revolt and declaration of independence of Gilgit-Baltistan on 1st November 1947. Due to the dubious role played by Major Brown (British Military Officer), Pakistan took administrative control of the region on 16th November 1947. Pakistan signed Karachi Agreement in 1949 with the Azad Kashmir government which associated Gilgit-Baltistan to the Kashmir issue. The independence gained from Dogra was subsequently lost to Pakistan. Since then, Gilgit-Baltistan had remained in a constitutional limbo, unable to decide its political status, which resulted in systematic human rights violations of 1.5 million people. Pakistan’s ruthless control over the people continues even after seventy-six years. The calls for autonomy and self-determination, which according to UN Charter and human rights instruments are fundamental rights went unheard. Frustrated by the situation, the youth and nationalists now explore international legal and political options (including the UN system) to struggle for self-governance, autonomy, and self-determination. Keywords: Autonomy, Self-governance, Self-determination, Constitutional limbo, Political Status, Human Rights, Identity Crisis
Second semester University: University of Padua
self-determination, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan, autonomy, human rights violations