The Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 attracted a lot of criticism from not only the residents of the region but also experts on the subject. The region of Gilgit-Baltistan has been deliberately not declared a part of Pakistan since independence due to the crisis of Kashmir. For several years, the residents of the area have demanded a declaration of the same rights that the constitution offers to the rest of the citizens of Pakistan. The new Order proposed by the government does not provide the citizens and the lawmakers of the region the desired autonomy and they have the most basic of demands - which is to include all relevant stakeholders in the decision making process.

What this will help achieve is bridge the trust deficit which has developed over the years with regards to the federal bodies of governance in Pakistan. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan need to assured that the Constitutional guarantees being offered to them will ensure no discrimination and their political representatives and courts will have the autonomy to decide matters of policy for their own region. This is especially relevant with regards to the political representatives, who feel that they have resorted to finding political solutions to the problem but their demands have not been entertained.

The political representatives should be provided their due space to pursue diplomacy and interests of the region. Along with this, the demand for a separate province also needs to be addressed. Pakistan, at this point, does not have the capacity to facilitate another province because the task is challenging and will require redoing of several basics of the country. At the time that the country is struggling with an ailing economy, the lack of focus on health and education sectors, and the growing disparity in the classes - what Pakistan can accommodate at the moment is the provision of better facilities in the existing framework.

Along with all these avenues, Pakistan also needs to address the issue of autonomy of Gilgit-Baltistan on the international front. Working needs to be done on declaring the region a part of Pakistan and not a disputed territory. This will allow the smooth progression of the projects being undertaken in the region which are a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The historical reasons for maintaining GB as an irregular part of the country should not affect the current residents of the land – the present comes first.