Gilgit-Baltistan (Urdu: گلگت بلتستان), once known as the Northern Areas, is the northernmost managerial region in Pakistan. It fringes Azad Kashmir toward the south, the region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa toward the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan toward the north, the Xinjiang locale of China, toward the east and upper east, and the Indian-controlled territory of Jammu and Kashmir toward the southeast. As indicated by UNSC Resolution of 1947 the domain is a piece of the questioned Kashmir district alongside Azad Kashmir, Aksai Chin, the Shaksgam Valley, and Jammu, Ladakh, and the Valley of Kashmir. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Handukuch and the Himalayas – meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and anglers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area ha remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule in the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
Five out of the fourteen mountain peaks with height of over 8000 meters including the K-2 (world’s second heights peak) and some of the largest glaciers outside polar regions are located in Gilgit Baltistan. Acknowledging the vast potential of tourism and its effects on downstream industries, the Government of Pakistan as well as the Gilgit Baltistan Administration are focusing on tourism for creation of employment opportunities, achieving higher economic growth and to introduce to the outside world, “the hidden treasures” of Gilgit Baltistan.
Beautiful landscape, unique cultural heritage and rich biological diversity given the Gilgit Baltistan a competitive advantage in attracting tourists from all over the world.
The number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan has steadily increased over the years, not-withstanding the dip-in figures immediately following 9/11. However, the challenge ahead is not merely to increase the number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan but also to consider how tourism can be better promoted without affecting the natural and cultural heritage of the area, while also improving the quality of life of people to the desired levels.
The region of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan turned into a different authoritative unit in 1970 under the name “Northern Areas”. It was shaped by the amalgamation of the previous Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan locale and a few little previous regal states, the bigger of which being Hunza and Nagar. In 2009, it was conceded constrained independence and renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan through the Self-Governance Order marked by Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, which likewise intended to engage the general population of Gilgit-Baltistan. In any case, researchers express that the genuine power rests with the representative and not with a boss clergyman or chose assembly. The number of inhabitants in Gilgit-Baltistan needs to be converted into Pakistan as a different fifth area and contradicts mix with Kashmir. The Pakistani government has rejected Gilgit-Baltistani calls for coordination with Pakistan in light of the fact that it would endanger its requests for the entire Kashmir issue to be settled by UN resolutions.
Gilgit-Baltistan covers a region of more than 72,971 km² (28,174 sq mi) and is exceptionally bumpy. It had an expected populace of 1,800,000 out of 2015. Its capital city is Gilgit (populace 216,760 est). Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and to in excess of fifty crests over 7,000 meters (23,000 ft). Three of the world’s longest icy masses outside the polar areas are found in Gilgit-Baltistan. Tourism is for the most part in trekking and mountaineering, and this industry is developing insignificance.