Gilgit-Baltistan (Urdu: گلگت - بلتستان, formerly known as the Northern Areas (Urdu: شمالی علاقہ جات, Shumālī Ilāqe Jāt)),is the northernmost political entity within Pakistan. It borders Pakistan`s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to the west,Afghanistan`s Wakhan Corridor to the north, China to the east and northeast, Azad Kashmirto the southwest, and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. Gilgit-Baltistan covers an area of 72,971 km (28,174 m) and is highly mountainous. It has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. Its administrative center is the city of Gilgit(population 216,760).
The territory became a single administrative unit in 1970 under the name Northern Areasand was formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar. Gilgit-Baltistan and the neighboring Azad Kashmir together constitute the distputed region, referred to as Pakistan-administered Kashmir by the United Nations and other international organisations, and as Pakistan.
Gilgit-Baltistan, which was most recently known as the Northern Areas, presently consists of seven districts, has a population approaching one million, has an area of approximately 28,000 square miles (73,000 km), and shares borders with
Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, and India. According to the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were liberated from the Dogra regime with the aid of the Pakistani army on 1 November 1947. The newspaper further states that while the area was independent for less than a month, they specifically requested the aid of the Pakistani government due to a lack of administrative infrastructure, and were thus incorporated into Pakistan upon the request of local residents.
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