Gilgit Agency

Gilgit Agency
Sargin Gleet
Location of Gilgit Agency
Gilgit Agency comprised the subsidiary states at the northern periphery of Jammu and Kashmir.
 • British Political agent1889
 • Gilgit Wazarat leased26 March 1935
 • Lease terminated30 July 1947
 • Gilgit rebellion1 November 1947
 • Pakistani Political agent19 November 1947
 • Merged into Northern Areas1970
"A collection of treaties, engagements, and sunnuds relating to India and neighbouring countries"

The Gilgit Agency (Urdu: گلگت ایجنسی‎) was a system of administration established by British Indian Empire over the subsidiary states of Jammu and Kashmir at its northern periphery, mainly with the objective of strengthening these territories against Russian encroachment.

An Officer on Special Duty was established in 1877 in the town of Gilgit, upgraded to a permanent Political Agent in 1889. In 1935, the Gilgit wazarat was leased from the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, which also came under the administration of the Political Agent. In July 1947, shortly before the independence of India and Pakistan, these areas were returned to the Maharaja. However, the Gilgit Scouts rebelled on 1 November 1947 after the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, and Pakistan took over the administration of the areas soon thereafter.[1][2]

The Gilgit Agency remained in existence under Pakistani control till about 1974, when it was abolished by the Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.[3]

Area and borders

Present day Gilgit-Baltistan

The areas under the Gilgit Agency consisted of

All these states had their own rulers or systems of administraion; the Agency provided supervision.[4][5]

The present day Gilgit and Astore districts comprised the Gilgit wazarat of Jammu and Kashmir with its own governor (wazir-e-wazarat). However, the Political Agent did exercise some control over its affairs, leading to a system of 'dyarchy' until 1935. Afterwards the British leased the Gilgit wazarat from Jammu and Kashmir, and it came under the direct administration of the Political Agent.[4][5]

In 1941, the Gilgit Agency had a population of 77,000 and the leased Gilgit wazarat had 23,000. Both the areas together came to be loosely referred to as the 'Gilgit Agency'. The administration of the Agency was carried out "on behalf of His Highness’ Government". The Political Agent communicated with the central government in New Delhi via Peshawar (the capital of the North-West Frontier Province) for reasons of security.[6]

The administered area was bounded in the west by the Chitral State, in the northwest by Afghanistan's Wakhan corridor, in the east by Chinese Turkestan and in the southeast by the LadakhBaltistan wazarat of Jammu and Kashmir.

Other Languages
Simple English: Gilgit Agency