Rekha Chowdhary in the Indian Express:
Last week, the federal cabinet of Pakistan approved the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance Order, 2009. By virtue of this order, the official name of the area has been changed from ‘Northern Area’ to Gilgit-Baltistan, and it has been granted political autonomy. The people of Gilgit Baltistan are supposed to have now the right of representation, the freedom of party politics as well as access to justice. The area will have its own elected assembly, chief minister and a centrally appointed governor...
While it is important to recognise the political rights of people of Gilgit-Baltistan, the step taken by Pakistan has serious implications for the peace process in Jammu and Kashmir. The logic of the ongoing peace process has been a ‘notional unity’ of the state through the concept of irrelevance of borders. The autonomy of Gilgit-Baltistan may start a trend in the reverse direction and may just justify the division of the state.
Read the full piece at the Indian Express