Articles and Commentaries |
March 12, 2018

Factors Responsible for Sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan Region


Sectarian conflict is not a new phenomenon and has existed in the culture of the sub-continent for many centuries in one form or the other. In its literal meaning, sectarianism refers to a rigid adherence to a particular sect. It often implies discrimination, denunciation, or violence against those outside the sect. The term is most often used to refer to religious sectarianism, involving conflict between members of different religions or denominations of the same religion. Sectarianism may, in the abstract, be characterised by dogmatism and inflexibility, sentimental adherence to an idea, belief or tradition and idealism that provides a sense of continuity, orientation, and certainty. A sectarian conflict usually refers to violent conflict along religious and political lines. It implies political conflict between different schools of thought such as that between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

In Gilgit-Baltistan, sectarian conflict is a matter of deep concern because it is damaging the fabric of society and is becoming a potent existential threat.1 It has risen phenomenally in the region over the past few decades and has extended beyond sporadic clashes over doctrinal issues between Sunnis and Shias and metamorphosed into political conflict around mobilisation of group identity,2 with relations among different religious sects and ethnic groups becoming potentially divisive. One irresponsible move against any particular group can easily ignite emotions and shatter relative peace and harmony.3

Political Development in the Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan region has never been represented in the Pakistani Parliament. It became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name “Northern Areas” and an Advisory Council with 14 elected members was set up, which was subsequently converted into the Northern Areas Council in 1975. It however was devoid of any legislative or executive powers and was presided over by an Administrator appointed by Islamabad. It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district and several small former princely states, the larger of which being Hunza and Nagar.4 The region was named “The Northern Areas of Pakistan” and placed under the direct control of Islamabad. Unlike Pakistan’s four provinces, the region has no political representation in the parliament or the federal cabinet and no status under Pakistan’s constitution.5

On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the then President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari.6 The order granted self-rule to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, by creating, among other things, an elected Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly and Gilgit-Baltistan Council. Gilgit-Baltistan thus gained a de facto province-like status without constitutionally becoming part of Pakistan. However, the real power rests with the governor and not with the Chief Minister or elected assembly.7 Currently, Gilgit-Baltistan is neither a province nor a state. It has a semi-provincial status. It is neither a part of what Pakistan calls Azad Kashmir nor is it a province of Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan’s Supreme Court pronounced in 1994 that these areas “are part of Jammu & Kashmir state but are not part of
Azad Kashmir.8


Gilgit-Baltistan is a multilingual, multicultural and ethnically diverse region. The Shia, Sunni, Ismaili and Nurbakhshi are the four major sectarian groups, found in the region, the Shias at 39 percent being the majority population, followed by the Sunnis with 27 percent and the Ismaili and Nurbakhshi with 18 and 16 percent respectively.9 The geographical distribution of the sects reflects the spatial trajectories of Islamisation: The southern district of Diamer is exclusively Sunni. Nagar in the North and Baltistan in the East is mostly Shia (with a small minority of Nurbakhshis) while Ismailis prevail in Hunza in the North and in Ghizer in the West. The city of Gilgit, being the political and economic centre of the region, which stands at the geographic crossroads of movements from all directions, is religiously mixed. It is roughly estimated that the three major sects are almost equally represented in Gilgit.10Skardu has a predominantly Shia population.

Factors Leading to Conflict

All communities in Gilgit-Baltistan were living peacefully in communal harmony till the 1970s as per the Kashmiri tradition prevalent before 1947. Sectarian conflict reared its ugly head only post 1970 and remains a major cause of concern. The factors responsible for the growth of sectarian conflict are:

l   Theological differences between Shia and Sunni

l   General Zia-ul-HaqIslamisation Policy

l   The Role of Madrasas

l   Afghan jihad and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

l   State Subject Rule (SSR)

l   Divide and Rule Strategy.

Theological Differences between Shia and Sunni

To understand the sectarianism in GilgitBaltistan it is necessary to have at least a cursory understanding of the divisions within the Islamic faith. Islam has two main branches: Shiaism and Sunnism.11The Sunni population subdivides into four major streams – Deobandis, Barelvis, Ahl-e-Hadith and Wahabis, within which there are dozens of subgroups.12 Each sect has its own madrasas in which their own version of Islam is taught.

The crux of their differences is rooted in the question of succession and leadership of Muslims after the Prophet’s death in 632 A.D. The bone of contention between the Shias and the Sunnis has historically been a dispute over questions of legitimate authority. The Sunnis regard the first four rulers, following the Prophet’s death (Abu Bakr, Omar bin Khattab, Osmab bin Affan, and Ali Ibne Abu Talib), as not only legitimate but also as “pious” and “righteous” caliphs worthy of great reverence.13 The Shias consider Ali Ibne Abu Talib alone to have been a legitimate ruler and treat his three predecessors as usurpers. They also believe that the first three caliphs were not really true to the Prophet and his mission. Allegedly they speak ill of them in various other ways in their own gatherings and some of them use insulting vocabulary in referring to them. The Sunnis find these Shia attitudes and interpretations to be intolerably offensive.14 Sunnis regard Ali as one of the four “righteous” Caliphs. One of the major issues of conflict between the two sects is the question of acceptance of the legitimacy of the caliphate.15

To the Shias, most of the companions of the Prophet (sahaba), conspired after the Prophet’s death to dispossess Ali (his son-in-law), and after him his descendants, the imams, of their divinely ordained right to the Muslim community’s leadership. In the Shias view of history, these companions, and their successors, were hypocrites and usurpers who never ceased to subvert Islam for their own interests.16 Public display of mourning is an essential part of the Shia faith, particularly during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, when they commemorate the Battle of Karbala (680, in Iraq) in which the Omayyads killed the Prophet’s grandson, Hussain, and his family.17 For Sunnis, especially Deobandis and Ahle Hadith, these Shia beliefs and ceremonies are an insult to their religious sensibilities.

There are also differences of opinion about the merits and functions of the successor to the Prophet. “The Sunni Islam considered the Caliph to be a guardian of the Sharia in the community, while Shias saw in the “successor” a spiritual function connected with the esoteric interpretation of the revelation and the inheritance to the Prophet’s esoteric teachings.”18 In contrast to the Sunnis, the institution of Imamate is fundamental to the Shia Islam. “The Imam, besides being a descendant of the Prophet, must possess certain qualities. He must be sinless, bear the purest and cleanest character, and must be distinguished above all other men for truth and purity.”19 Whereas, “the Sunnis believe that the Imamate is not restricted to the family of Mohammad, the imam need not be just, virtuous, or irreproachable in his life, nor need he be the most excellent or eminent being of his time, so long as he is free, adult, sane, and possessed of the capacity to attend to the ordinary affairs of State, he is qualified for election.”20 Later, both the Shia and Sunni schools further split into several sub-sects on different issues related to succession, interpretation of scriptures and political theory of Islam. Each sect blames the violent activities of the other as the reason for its own existence. The fundamental problem of the sectarian organisations is their sectarian identity which cannot be used as an ideology for political mobilisation.

General Zia-ul-Haq’sIslamisation Policy

The Islamisation policy of General Zia was state enterprise based on a series of reforms intended to turn Pakistan into a truly Islamic state.21 A highlight of General Zia’s Islamisation programme was the imposition of Zakat, (an Islamic tax) which the government decreed would be automatically collected from people’s bank accounts.22 Shia and Sunni schools of law differ quite markedly in their stipulations on Zakat, as in many other areas of law.23 The government’s decision to impose Zakat and Ushr(farming tax) ordinances according to the prescriptions of the Hanafi school of Sunni law, created intense resentment among the Shias and proved to be a powerful stimulus towards their political mobilisation in Pakistan. The implementation of the Sunni Hanafifiqh thus became the starting point of Shia resistance in Pakistan.24 Pakistan’s Shia minority, who demanded to be exempted from the tax on religious grounds, fiercely resisted General Zia’s attempts. Following large demonstrations in 1980, they were exempted from the tax but this sowed the seeds of anti-Shia sentiments and a growing sectarian violence. Over time, these differences were manifested in a growth of new types of movements which were virulently anti-Shia. In 1980, the clash over the Zakat issue led to the formation of a Shia movement called the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i Jafaria Pakistan (TJP).25Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria’s (TNFJ’s) emergence also marked a radical shift in the intra-Shia scene as the centre of gravity of Shia politics, traditionally associated with big landlords, shifted to the Shia Ulema and the younger militant groups. The increasingly confrontational and aggressive posture of TNFJ, however, led to a Deobandi Sunni backlash that took the form of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan(SSP), founded in 1985.26

The SSP, under the leadership of Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, started a hard-line anti-Shia agenda and demanded that Shias be termed infidels.27 Thus began the strife between the (Shia) TJP and the (Sunni) SSP, in which leaders and followers alike were killed in bloody encounters and outright assassinations. When the SSP leader was killed in 1990, an even more violent offshoot was created in his name, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ). The formation of the LJ in turn sparked the formation of another militant Shia organisation, Sipah-e-Mohammedi Pakistan (SMP) in 1993.28 Both the LJ and the SMP are more ruthless than their parent organisations (SSP, TJP). In particular the LJ has proved to be the most violent sectarian organisation ever to have existed in Pakistan.29

General Zia’s time is very important to the geopolitical and social dynamics of Gilgit-Baltistan.  Immediately after imposing martial law, Zia extended the subjugating rules to Gilgit-Baltistan and supported Sunni Islam to legitimise his rule. However, Zia’s support to particular Sunni parties and groups and the existing power vacuum in Gilgit-Baltistan provided an opportunity for the ulema to assert their role in public space.30

The impact of the aggressive Sunni Islamisation drive initiated by Zia fell substantially on the Shia-dominated Gilgit-Baltistan region. The importance given by Islamabad to the Sunni ulema (religious scholars), to the Deobandi extremist groups, and to the politics played by the regional administrative officers appointed by Islamabad, was largely responsible for fuelling sectarian clashes in the region. Besides, it was always in the interest of the Army in Pakistan to keep Gilgit-Baltistan divided on sectarian lines to retain tight control over this strategically important area.

The armed Sunni extremists had traveled a long way to reach Gilgit without being stopped by the security forces at any point. Mohammad Shehzad has stated in Friday Times, “a huge lashkar of 80,000 Sunni extremists was sent by General Zia government to annihilate the Shias. Villages inhabited by the Shias-Jalalabad, Bonji, Darot, Jaglot, Pari, and Manawar, were completely ruined. Even their animals were slaughtered. The laskhar had traveled a long distance from Mansehra to Gilgit and the Government did not stop it. Instead, it put the blame on R&AW (an Indian intelligence agency) and CIA (the US external intelligence Agency).31 Besides the Sunni Islamisation policies of General Zia, which were not completely abandoned by the successive governments, Islamabad’s reliance on jihadis for its proxy war in Kashmir and its policy to keep the strategically important region of Gilgit-Baltistan under its absolute control prompted it to fuel the flames of sectarian violence in the region.32

The Role of Madrasas

A major development that served to raise the level of sectarian conflict was the rapid spread of madrasas. The madrasas, sponsored by politico-religious parties and often funded by donors from the Middle East, instruct their students in accordance with the sectarian beliefs of the school’s sponsors. They have spread even to small towns and enroll more students than the public elementary and middle schools in Pakistan and in Gilgit-Baltistan. They teach theology, but many of them also teach their students to disapprove of sects other than their own and also impart to them military training. The phenomenal growth of madrasas has contributed to the promotion of sectarian conflict by producing a large number of indoctrinated students with sect oriented education. Hence, these madrasa students are converted into sectarian militants, readily available to fight for their sectarian organisations against the rival sect.

All the madrasas, including the Shia ones, teach the Dars-e-Nizami though they do not use the same texts. They also teach their particular point of view (maslak) which clarifies and rationalises the beliefs of the sect (Sunni or Shia) and sub-sect (Deobandi, Barelvi and Ahl-e-Hadith).33 Moreover, they train their students to refute, what in their views are heretical beliefs and some Western ideas. They have thus become “…a source of hate-filled propaganda against other sects and the sectarian divide has become sharper and more violent.”34 Muhammad QasimZaman has aptly remarked “…the madrasas not only have their own exclusivist sectarian affiliations, many of them are also intimately associated with particular sectarian organisations. Much of the leadership of sectarian organisations comes from madrasas. The establishment of new madrasas is likewise often sponsored by these organisations led the growth of the sectarian conflict.”35 The network of madrasas is crucial for both Shia and Sunni radical groups to exert and extend their influence and both have profusely used the print media to disseminate their ideas.36Gilgit-Baltistan has witnessed a mushrooming of madrasas that preach sectarian hatred.

The Role of Afghan jihad and The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

The Afghan jihad played an important role in fuelling sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan. The USA funded billions of dollars to Sunni sectarian organisations in Pakistan in the cold war politics.37 The Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and the subsequent decision of the U.S. to provide funds to Pakistani authorities, especially the ISI (the intelligence agency of Pakistan), to create a radical Islamist international brigade to fight the Soviet army, worsened the situation in Pakistan by militarising the sectarian groups.The Pakistan’s ISI coordinated and distributed this financial and military aid – especially to radical Islamist groups. “Jihad” entered educational institutions especially in the madrasas, deliberately to mobilise fighters against the Soviets.38The sectarian tensions in Gilgit-Baltistan as well as in other parts of Pakistan are related to this.39 Many local Sunnis who had participated in the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan returned home to join anti-Shia sectarian groups like the SSP and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Local Shia graduates from Iran’s religious schools also returned home and with Iranian financial backing and support joined Shia militant organisations.40

State Subject Rule (SSR)

Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (POJK) is a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and hence it is an integral part of India. “State Subject Rule” was a law passed by the erstwhile Maharaja of Kashmir defining a hereditary state subject, and forbidding employment of non-state subjects in public services. Also, non-state residents were not allowed to purchase land in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. However, under Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, this law was abolished in 1974, which opened the floodgates of immigration for people from different parts of Pakistan to settle in Gilgit-Baltistan. Interestingly, both on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) as well as in other areas of PoJK, the “State Subject Rule” is still in force.41 This is one of the clearest manifestations of the intent of Pakistan to change the demographic profile of the region. This paved the way for settling outsiders-mostly Sunni ethnic Pathans and Punjabis– in Gilgit-Baltistan region.42

The attempt by successive Pakistani adminis-trations to bring people from various parts of Pakistan has created fear in the minds of the people of the region that the government is aiming at their ethnic marginalisation in their own traditional homeland. From 1998 to 2011, due to large-scale migration, the population in Gilgit-Baltistan surged by 63.1 percent, as against 22.1 percent in Mirpur-Muzaffarabad (PoJK), where the “State Subject Rule” is still in force. The fact that the population in Sunni dominated Diamer district more than doubled during the period, gives some credence to this allegation.43

Divide and Rule Strategy

The sectarian conflict in the Gilgit-Baltistan region developed as a strategy of “divide and rule,” employed by the Government of Pakistan, in order to prevent a further joint uprising of the local people of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Radical Sunni Deobandiulemas were sent to madrasas in Gilgit to propagate that Shias are not “real Muslims,” and they soon replaced the Barelvimaulvis in the mosques. As such propagation became more vocal and frequent, the Shias too reciprocated. This divide and rule policy is effectively being used by the Pakistani establishment to counter the demand for local self-rule by the people of the region. With the sects engaged in settling sectarian scores with each other, they lose out on taking a united stand to pressurise Islamabad to address their genuine long pending political and economic grievances.

Impact of Sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan Region

The region has, however, paid a heavy price under Pakistani occupation. It is reported that, as of January 2001, the old population ratio of 1:4 (non-locals to locals) has now changed to 3:4 (non-locals to locals).44 The Shia pockets of Skardu and Gilgit are witnessing a constant increase in the population of non-Shias. The Pakistani administration has also been involved in efforts to alter the demographic profile of region, reducing the indigenous people to a minority. It is estimated that more than thousands of lives have been lost since the sectarian conflicts surfaced in this region in 1988.45

The entire region does not have any kind of industry and over 85 per cent of the people live below the poverty line.46 Due to the limited means of earning a livelihood, the people of this region mostly depend on government offered jobs and on the tourism industry. The latter has however been badly effected as a result of conflict, which also prevents both foreign and local investors from investing in the region. This in turn increases unemployment, giving rise to further lawlessness and violence in the society.47The region is caught in a vicious cycle and sectarian violence has become a major internal security threat to the Gilgit-Baltistan region.


Gilgit-Baltistan is legally and constitutionally an integral part of India. Unfortunately, successive Indian governments have maintained a stoic silence over the happenings there. Sectarian violence in the region is an attempt by the Pakistani establishment to deny the local residents their legitimate rights by embroiling them in internecine war. By denying Gilgit-Baltistan a constitutional identity, depriving its residents of political rights and recourse to justice and administering it through a highly centralised bureaucracy, Pakistan has created an environment in which increasing numbers, particularly youth, have no outlet to express themselves except through sectarian conflict.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mention of supporting voices from Balochistan and Gilgit during his 2016 Independence Day speech was seen as a positive signal of a shift in Indian foreign policy. India needs to explore mechanisms to communicate its support to Gilgit-Baltistan’s people. It is high time that India’s diplomatic channels reach out to the voices of GilgitBaltistan.


1     Milton J. Esman, Ethnic Politics (Ithaca: Cornwell University Press, 1994), p. 28.

2     Vali R. Nasr, “International Politics, Domestic Imperatives, and Identity Mobilization: Sectarianism in Pakistan, 1979-1998,” Comparative Politics (London), Vol. 32, No. 2, January 2000, p. 171.

3     M. Akbar, “Pakistan: Sectarian Challenges,” South Asia Citizen Wire, July 30, 2003.

4     ShahidJavedBurki, Historical Dictionary of Pakistan (Rowman& Littlefield, 2015), p. 228.

5     Alok Bansal, “Gilgit-Baltistan: An Appraisal”, Manekshaw Paper (Centre for Land Warfare Studies New Delhi), No.37, 2013, p.2.

6     “China Pakistan Economic Corridor and Jammu & Kashmir”, European Foundation for South Asian Studies (Amsterdam), March 2016.


7     Sering, Senge H., “Constitutional Impasse in Gilgit-Baltistan (Jammu and Kashmir): The Fallout”, Strategic Analysis, 34 (3): 354–358

8     Sushant Singh, “Those Troubled Peaks: Greater Chinese presence in Gilgit-Baltistan lends it Geo-Strategic Significance”, The Indian Express (New Delhi), May 11, 2015.

9     Hermann Kreutzmann, “The Karakoram Landscape and the Recent History of the Northern Areas,” in Stefano Bianca (eds.), Karakoram: Hidden Treasures in the Northern Areas of Pakistan (Turin:
Allemandi, 2007).

10 Anna Grieser and Martin Sokefeld, “Intersections of Sectarian Dynamics and Spatial Mobility in GilgitBaltistan”, in Stefan Conermann, Elena Smolarz (eds.), Mobilizing Religion: Networks and Mobility (Berlin:Verlag 2015), p.87.

11 Muhammad Zakir Khan Azmi, “Dialogue between Shia and Sunni,” Himal South Asia (Katmandu), May, 2004, p. 17.

12           RizwanQureshi, “The Second Coming,” The Herald (Karachi), February 1999, Vol. 30, No.2, p. 59.

13 Anwar H. Syed, “The Sunni-Shia Conflict in Pakistan,” in Hafeez Malik (eds.) Pakistan: Founder’s Aspiration and Today’s Realities (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 249.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid, p. 250.

16 Muhammad QasimZaman, “Sectarianism in Pakistan: The Radicalization of Shia and Sunni Identities,” Modern Asian Studies (Cambridge), Vol. 32, No. 3, July 1998, p. 691.

17 FaustoBiloslavo, “Pakistan: the Threat of Islamic radicalism: Part II,” Cemiss Quarterly (Roma: Military Centre for Strategic Studies), Autumn 2005, p.66.

18 Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, “Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: A Case Study of Jhang,” Policy Paper (Colombo: RCSS), Issue 9, January 2000.

19 FebeArmanios, “Islam: Sunnis and Shiites,” CRS Report of Congress, February 23, 2004, p. 2.

20 Ibid.

21 Are Knudsen, “Political Islam in South Asia,” C. Michelsen Institute Report (Bergen: Norway), No. 14, 2002, p. 32.

22 Muhammad QasimZaman, n.22, p. 693.

23 N.J. Coulson, A history of Islamic Law (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1964),pp. 113-19.

24 Samina Ahmad, “The Unholy Nexus? Newsline (Karachi), September 1998, p. 249.

25 AfakHaydar, “The Politicization of the Shias and the Development of the Tehrik-e-Nifazz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafaria in Pakistan” in Charles H. Kennedy, (ed.), Pakistan 1992 (Boulder Westview Press, 1993), p. 76.

26 ImtiazGul, The Unholy Nexus: Pak-Afghan Relations under the Taliban (Lahore: Vanguard, 2002), p.100.

27  S.V. R. Nasr, “The Rise of Sunni Militancy in Pakistan: The Changing Role of Islamism and the Ulama in Society and Politics,” Modern Asian Studies (Cambridge), Vol. 34, No. 1, 2000, p. 163.

28 Muhammad Sikandar Khan, “Religious Fundamentalism in Pakistan,” Studying Islam, March 5, 2005.

29 “Sectarianism: Tentacles of Hatred,” TheHerald (Karachi), 2001, p. 32.

30 Aziz Ali Dad, “The Sectarian Spectre in Gilgit-Baltistan-Part II”, PAMIR TIMES July 13, 2017.

31 Mohammed Shehzad, “Textbook Controversy in Gilgit,” The Friday Times (Lahore), July 4-10, 2003.

32 “The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan”, ICG Asia Report (Brussels/Islamabad), No. 95, April 18, 2005.

33 Tariq Rahman, “The Madrassa and the State of Pakistan Religion, Poverty and the Potential for Violence in Pakistan,” Himal South Asia, February, 2004.

34 Nayyar, A.H. and Ahmad Salim, The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan. Urdu, English, Social Studies and Civics (Islamabad: Sustainable Development Policy Institute, 2003),

35 Muhammad QasimZaman, n.22, p. 690.

36 Ibid.

37 S. Irfani, “Pakistan’s Sectarian Violence Between the Arabist Shift and Indo-Persian Culture,” in Satu P. Limaye, Mohan Malik, Robert G. Wirsing (eds.), Radicalism and Security in South Asia (Honolulu, Hawaii : Asia-Pacific Center for Security  Studies, 2004 ), p. 150.

38 William Maley, The Afghanistan Wars (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).

39 Behuria, Ashok , “Sunni-Shia Relations in Pakistan: The Widening Divide”, Strategic Analysis (New Delhi: IDSA), Vol. 28 No. 1, 2004, pp. 157–176.

40 ICG, “The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan,” Asia ICG report No. 95 (Islamabad/Brussels: International Crisis Group), April 18, 2005.

41 M Ismail Khan, “Demystifying Kashmir”, The News, January 23 2006.

42  Satinder Kumar Lambah, The Tragic History of Gilgit-Baltistan since 1947″ Indian Foreign Affairs      Journal Vol. 11, No. 3, July-September 2016, p.234.

43  Abdul SattarKhan,“AJK, Fata, GB, Capital Population Goes up Many a Time”, The News, 08 April 2012.

44 DebidattaAurobindaMahapatra, SeemaShekhawat, Kashmir AcrossLoC (New Delhi: Gyan Publication, 2008), p.120.

45 S armad Abbas and Imtiaz Ali Taj, “Brothers with Arms”, The Herald, April 2005, p.63.

46 P. Stobdan, D. SubaChandran (eds.), The Last Colony: Muzaffarabad-Gilgit-Baltistan (New Delhi:       India Research Press, 2008).

47 Ershad Mahmud, “Challenges before the New Government in NAs”, The News December 11, 2004.


(Dr.Vivek Kumar Mishra holds Ph.D. from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and is currently working as Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations in Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. He can be reached at

(This article is carried in the print edition of March- April 2018 issue of India Foundation Journal.)

Latest News

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 − thirteen =