About Gilgit – History

Gilgit was ruled for centuries by the local Trakhàn Dynasty, which ended in 1810 with the death of Raja Abas, the last Trakhàn Raja. The rulers of Hunza and Nager also claim origin with the Trakhàn dynasty. They claim descent from a heroic Kayani Prince of Persia, Azur Jamshid (also known as Shamsher), who secretly married the daughter of the king Shri Badat. She conspired with him to

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overthrow her cannibal father. Sri Badat’s faith is theorised as Hindu by some and Buddhist by others. However, considering the region’s Buddhist heritage, with the most recent influence being Islam, the most likely preceding influence of the region is Buddhism, though the titular Sri and the name Badat denotes a Hindu origin of this ruler.


The isolation associated with the Karakoram Mountains ensured that Gilgit-Baltistan developed and preserved its unique history, cultural values and traditional political identity. Over the centuries, the region of Gilgit-Baltistan came under the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan and experienced four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals (until 1751) and the Afghan Durranis, who ruled until 1820. Between 1832 and 1860, the region of Gilgit-Baltistan was conquered by the Sikhs and the Dogras who administered the region as part of the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu under the tutelage of the British Crown. Between 1935 and 1947 the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan was given to the British on lease in order to enable them to keep watch on the developments in Xinjiang and Afghanistan.


When then English returned the Gilgit warrant, the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan became the third “Northern Area” province of Kashmir and Jammu. On 1st November 1947, the local population of Gilgit-Baltistan fought the Dogra Raj and joined Pakistan and declared an independent Republic in Gilgit.


This Gilgit government, along with similar governments in Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, formed the three UN-recognized interim governments in the disputed former state. However, following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Pakistan occupied the territories to the north and west of the cease-fire line and divided the territory into the Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) and Azad, Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in the south.


In 1972 the Government of Pakistan incorporated the autonomous feudal Kingdoms along the Gilgit and Hunza rivers into Pakistan creating The Northern Areas – an area now divided into five administrative districts: Diamer, Baltistan, Ghizer, Gilgit and Ghanche.


On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President. It granted self-rule to the people of the former Northern Areas, now renamed “Gilgit-Baltistan,” by creating, among other things, an elected legislative assembly.