A dream that wasn’t made for Gilgit-Baltistan: Good Governance

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Some of the highest peaks in the world, including K2, may be found in Gilgit Baltistan, a mountainous region in northern Pakistan. Over two million people live in the region, representing a variety of ethnic groups such the Baltis, Shinaks, Burushos, and others.
Gilgit Baltistan is hampered by a multitude of issues, such as subpar government, limited infrastructure, and pervasive poverty, despite its stunning natural surroundings and vibrant culture. The region has also experienced a protracted conflict between India and Pakistan, which has made its issues worse.

One of the biggest challenges facing Gilgit Baltistan is poor governance. The region is governed under the Gilgit Baltistan Order of 2018, which gives the federal government in Islamabad a wide range of powers over the region. This includes the power to appoint and dismiss the region’s chief minister and cabinet, as well as to control its budget and security.

A dream not fulfilled. A girl sitting in far fetched village of Baltistan, not connected by road.
The Gilgit Baltistan Order of 2018 has been criticized by many for being undemocratic and for undermining the region’s autonomy. The region’s elected representatives have little real power, and the federal government has been accused of interfering in the region’s internal affairs.

Healthcare Sector
The healthcare sector in Gilgit Baltistan is also in a state of crisis. The region has a shortage of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Medical facilities are also inadequate, and many people in the region have to travel long distances to access basic healthcare services.
The lack of adequate healthcare has led to high rates of preventable diseases in Gilgit Baltistan. For example, the infant mortality rate in the region is one of the highest in Pakistan.

Education Sector
The education sector in Gilgit Baltistan is also facing a number of challenges. The literacy rate in the region is lower than the national average, and many children, especially girls, do not attend school. The quality of education in the region is also poor, and many schools lack basic facilities such as textbooks and desks.
The lack of quality education is a major obstacle to development in Gilgit Baltistan. It denies young people the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the modern world.

Road and Transport Sector
The road and transport sector in Gilgit Baltistan is also inadequate. The region has a limited network of roads, and many of them are in poor condition. This makes it difficult and expensive for people and goods to move around the region.
The poor road network also makes it difficult for people to access essential services such as healthcare and education. It also discourages investment and tourism in the region.

Poor Living Conditions
Many people in Gilgit Baltistan live in poverty and have poor living conditions. The region has a high rate of unemployment, and many people struggle to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter. The lack of basic infrastructure such as clean water, sanitation, and electricity also makes life difficult for many people in Gilgit Baltistan.
With deteriorating economic conditions, rising inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices, it had become nearly impossible for common people to sustain living.

Rampant Corruption
Corruption is another major problem in Gilgit Baltistan. The region is plagued by nepotism, favoritism, and other forms of corruption. This has led to a decline in public trust in the government and has undermined the region’s development. Pakistan Military involvement in land grabbing incidents has led to mass protest and seen as a unethical intervention in public affairs.

Military Autocracy in Federal Govt
The federal government in Islamabad is dominated by the military. This has led to a number of problems and protests for Gilgit Baltistan, including the militarization of the region and the suppression of dissent. The military’s involvement in the region has also been linked to human rights abuses, including torture, land grabbing and extrajudicial killings.

Comparison with Developed Provinces of Pakistan
Gilgit Baltistan is significantly less developed than other provinces of Pakistan such as Sindh and Punjab. This is evident in a number of indicators, including poverty rates, literacy rates, and access to basic infrastructure. For example, the poverty rate in Gilgit Baltistan is estimated to be around 40%, while the poverty rate in Sindh and Punjab is around 25%. The literacy rate in Gilgit Baltistan is also lower than the national average, while the literacy rates in Sindh and Punjab are much higher.
Gilgit Baltistan also lags behind other provinces of Pakistan in terms of access to basic infrastructure such as clean water, sanitation, and electricity.
The people of Gilgit Baltistan face a number of challenges, including poor governance, inadequate infrastructure, and widespread poverty. The region has also been the site of a long-running conflict between India and Pakistan, which has further exacerbated its problems. The federal government in Islamabad has a responsibility to address the challenges facing Gilgit Baltistan

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