(Last Updated on : 21-04-2012)
The Gilgit Agency is a former political unit of the British Empire in India
, which supervised and administered the northern region of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir
. The Agency was formed in the year 1877 and was managed by a Resident of British India
, also known as political agent, of the Governor General of the British, who was headquartered in Srinagar
. In 1935, the Gilgit Agency leased the province which comprised the agency from Maharaja Hari Singh
for a period of 60 years. After India attained independence from the British dominion in 1947, the Gilgit Agency, along with the lease, ceased to exist. Following to the Partition of India
and Pakistan in the year 1947 and the First Kashmir War, Pakistan adopted the name Gilgit Agency to refer to the region that formed the dependency of Pakistan from 1947 to 1970. This name ceased to use after the region was unified with the northern areas.
History of Gilgit Agency
Before the formation of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in the mid- 19th century by the Dogra rulers, the region of Gilgit had been administered by Indian princes
who were styled as Raas. Gilgit and the bordering Baltistan, along with their neighboring regions of Ladakh
and Nagar, formed the vassals of the Jammu and Kashmir state, but sustained substantial autonomy and independence. After the British Government of India
formed the Gilgit
Agency in the year 1877, these regions, including the Wazarats of Gilgit and Ladakh, were governed directly by the British administration, though the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir maintained sovereignty. The native rulers or princes of these regions appeared at the Durbars of Jammu and Kashmir until India achieved in 1947.
Due to the Partition of India and the consequent incursion Pakistani forces into Jammu and Kashmir during the First Kashmir War, most of the erstwhile Gilgit Wazarat was incorporated into the Pakistan administered Kashmir; while the Ladakh Wazarat and the Kargil
region were included as a part of the Union of India
. The Line of Control, thus, established at the culmination of the war is the present border of India and Pakistan.