Pakistan announced its plan to declare the Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth province for strategic development goals. The move is expected to raise a lot of criticism by India and other countries considering human rights violations in the region as well as its strategic importance.
The disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region is northernmost administrative territory bordering with the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in Pakistan.
India has been raising voices at different world forums regarding the human rights violations by Pakistani authorities.
The Gilgit-Baltistan region near Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is spread in 85,793 sq km area. The region is considered as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan.
The region has its own assembly and an elected chief minister.
The area was divided in 1970 into two: Mirpur-Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and the Federally Administered Gilgit-Baltistan (It is also referred to as the Northern Areas).
In 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to China in a 1963 border agreement.
The area is significant to both Pakistan and China as the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the region.