Hidden Treasures in the Pakistani Northern Areas
Gilgit Baltistan formerly known as the Northern Areas is the northernmost political entity within the Pakistan. It borders Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to the west, Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the north, China to the northeast, Azad Kashmir to the south, and Jammu & Kashmir State of India to the southeast. Gilgit Baltistan covers an area of 72,971 km² and has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000.
The territory became a single administrative unit in 1970 under the name Northern Areas and was formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar. Pakistan considers the territory separate from Kashmir, whereas India and the European Union consider the territory as a part of the larger disputed territory of Kashmir that has been in dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947.
Perhaps the impact of modernity can be absorbed without destroying traditional values. Local communities could instead of being ignored or oppressed, become protagonists of controlled development. This volume addresses these issues through the description of a series of interventions of territorial planning, environmental protection, recovery of historic buildings and traditional villages and the improvement of living conditions.