If the people are not taken into confidence, a Kashmir-like situation will arise in Gilgit-Baltistan

The region of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has often been overshadowed by the more internationally recognized conflict in Kashmir. However, the political and social dynamics of Gilgit-Baltistan demand urgent attention to prevent a similar situation from unfolding. Historically, both regions have faced issues of autonomy, governance, and representation. As we examine the potential for a Kashmir-like scenario in Gilgit-Baltistan, it becomes clear that the key to stability lies in inclusive governance and taking the local population into confidence.

Since British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947, Kashmir has served as a hotbed of violence. Human rights violations, extreme militarization, and an atmosphere of constant unrest are the results of the ongoing conflict. The administrations’ inability to really address the complaints and aspirations of the local populace was one of the major errors made in Kashmir. A cycle of resistance and repression has been sustained by this lack of participation and representation.

Though it has a local legislature, G-B feels excluded from national decision-making processes because it is not represented in Pakistan’s National legislature or Senate.

Despite having an abundance of natural resources, the area is nevertheless undeveloped economically. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one example of an infrastructure project that has sparked optimism but also concerns about exploitation without sufficient local benefit.

There are sizable Shia and Sunni groups in G-B, which is home to a varied population. There have been instances of sectarian violence, and there are worries that government indifference might make matters worse.

More people are calling for more autonomy or for province status. Uncertainty and unhappiness are exacerbated by the ambiguity surrounding G-B’s constitutional status.

Gilgit-Baltistan has to be committed to inclusive administration and sincere interaction with the local populace in order to avoid becoming another Kashmir. Neglect is too great of a cost and too high of stakes to be ignored.

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