Gilgit Agreement 26th March 1935 Gilgit area which was given on lease | History of Gilgit-Baltistan

 Treaty of Gilgit (March 26, 1935)

The Gilgit-Baltistan region has been under the administration of the state of Kashmir for centuries. After the Mughal occupation of Kashmir in 1586 and then under Afghan rule, the area was divided into princely states and tributary states.

Treaty of Gilgit 1935

Under the Treaty of Amritsar of 1846, the East India Company handed over control of the territories between the Ravi and the Indus to Maharaja Gulab Singh. 

The agreement did not include the areas of Gilgit, Hunz and Nagar and Yasin across the Indus. During the reigns of Maharaja Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, successive invasions were made to bring these areas under the control of the Sultanate of Kashmir. Thus, in 1851, Chilas, Yasin in 1863 and Daril etc. in 1866 were conquered and included in the Sultanate of Kashmir.

 These areas north of the Indus River were transformed into an administrative unit and renamed the Ministry of Gilgit. The borders of the empire now extend to Central Asia.

In the middle of the 19th century, when Russia adopted an expansionist policy, the British government was in danger of being able to extend its influence to India through this northern gate of Kashmir. So the British government took a number of measures to deal with this impending threat. The British Government established the Gilgit Political Agency here in 1876 and later in 1889 to keep a close watch on these areas bordering Russia and China. Colonel Durand became the agency's first political agent.

With the establishment of this agency, all the doors of the growing economic and social relations of the Kingdom of Kashmir towards China and Central Asia were closed. Now the British government is planning to take full control of the letter. Pratap Singh was furious with these aggressive policies of the British government. He was obstructing these expansionist ambitions but despite his successor Maharaja Hari Singh Pahlavi, he was finally forced to bow to the British government.

In fact, the British government had established its influence in the internal affairs of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to such an extent that in the name of political and conscious awakening, successive incidents within the state resulted in the British government bowing down to Maharaja Hari Singh. I succeeded and finally Maharaja Hari Singh had to accept the demand of the British government to take control of Gilgit in 1935.

Thus, on 26 March 1935, an agreement was reached between Maharaja Hari Singh and the British Resident of Kashmir, Colonel L. Long, which was ratified on 3 April 1935 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Wellington. Under the agreement, control and military management of Gilgit and its adjoining 14,680 square miles across the Indus River was handed over directly to the British Government of India for 60 years.

Gilgit Treaty of March 26, 1935 

Text between the British Government and the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir

Article 1: Viceroy and Governor General Kishore Hind has the power to take over the national and military administration of this part of Gilgit State of Jammu and Kashmir at any time after the ratification of this agreement. Which is located on the right bank across the river Indus.

Article II: Evidence of the fact that the country is within the boundaries of Maharaja Hari Singh Jammu and Kashmir. On the occasion of the birthday of the Maharaja and the ceremony of crutches and other such ceremonies about which the Maharaja and the Governor of Jazal Kishore Hind should reach a consensus. Officers

It will be the duty of the administration to enslave the country in the aforesaid manner and continue to abide by the prevailing honors. The state flag will always be flown at the official headquarters.

Article 3: Under normal circumstances, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Indian Army will not pass through the Ministry of Gilgit. Which is located on the right bank of the river Indus.

Article IV: All rights reserved to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. But after this agreement, the search for minerals or extraction of minerals will be postponed.

Article 5: This Agreement shall remain in force for sixty years from the date of its establishment. At the end of this period, the contract will automatically expire.

The agreement was signed on 26 March 1935 in Jammu. 


Under the treaty, only twelve years had passed since the British government took over the Gilgit system, and as a result of World War II, the British Raj had to withdraw from the subcontinent.

 Under the June 3, 1947 plan, it was decided that Britain would end its occupation of India and all treaties with the personal states of British India would be automatically terminated. 

Under the same principle, the Gilgit Agreement was also canceled and it was decided that all the territories leased by the British Government from the Maharaja of Kashmir would be returned to the Government of Kashmir on 1st August. 

By order of the Maharaja of Kashmir, the Prime Minister of Kashmir Ram Chand Kak issued an order on 12 July 1947 in which the Ministry of Gilgit was given the status of a province and Brigadier General Staff Ghansara Singh was appointed as the Governor of the province. On July 30, 1947, Ghansara Singh reached Gilgit and took charge. 

The areas of Gilgit which were leased to the British Government in 1935 were finally de facto occupied by the Maharaja on 1 August 1947. Procedure established.

Agreement Gilgit Agency in the opinion of different authors


MA Khan writes in his book The Mirror of Kashmir History that there is a big misconception that the whole of Gilgit-Baltistan was given to the British. The border province of the state which includes Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh covers an area of ​​63454 square miles. Of which Gilgit Agency consists of these areas.

Gilgit Ministry which includes the area of ​​Tehsil Gilgit and Bunji. 

Hunza and Nagar states 

District of Chilas



Koi khizar 

 اشکومن ashkoman 

 And 1480 square miles of Gilgit was given to the British.

 For this, the list of 1941 census can be seen. While it did not include Ladakh which covers an area of ​​45762 square miles and which includes Baltistan and Kargil. 

M. A Khan further writes that the whole of Gilgit Agency is not included in this deal which covers an area of ​​14680 square miles. Nor Astor which has an area of ​​10632 square miles.

 Mumtaz Hashmi writes that the British government leased only 1485 square miles of the 60-year lease of the strip along the border at the very north and northwest of Gilgit, at the very end of Chilas, Gopis, Yasin, Ashkuman and Darul and Tanger. Taken from the Maharaja in 1935. 

 Sheikh Abdullah writes in this regard that the rulers of these three areas were Maharaja of Kashmir. Regular tributes were paid to him. In the fourth decade of this century, the Maharaja leased Gilgit to the British who wanted to control it in order to protect the subcontinent from any possible advance of the Soviet Union. At that time and under these circumstances, the civil administration in Gilgit was the same as it was in Hunza and Skardu.

 KH Khurshid writes that in 1945, due to some border issues and defense expenditure, the area of ​​Gilgit Agency was leased to the Government of India by the Maharaja of Kashmir for 60 years. During this period the appointment of the British Resident came into effect. Obviously, leasing for a short period of time does not deprive any government of the sovereignty of its territory.

 Mumtaz Hashmi further writes that Jammu and Kashmir flag was flying in these areas till 1947. Power and administration was in the hands of the Jammu and Kashmir government. The state government had managed the area in the form of a district sub-division. Political administration in the border areas of the agency was entrusted to the Minister of Gilgit. Who was in charge of national administration, army, finance, etc. 

Chilas, Gopis Yassin and Ashkuman were political areas. His orders were called governors. Which were appointed by the state government. And they were paid by the state government, including their soldiers. The mountainous areas were included in the governorship of Gopis. While in Dar es Salaam he worked as an assistant political agent. The feudal lords of Hunza Nagar, Panial were subordinate to the political agent for special British purposes. But in administrative and political matters, Jammu and Kashmir was in full control. The Hunza Nagar and Panial estates were included in the Gilgit Agency but the administrative division was different. Some of them were governors of the Maharaja. And in some of them the local kings ruled but all were subordinate to the Maharaja. They used to make annual donations to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

 Looking at the different opinions of different historians, it can now be easily estimated that either the whole of Gilgit Agency was given to the British which had an area of ​​fourteen thousand six hundred and eighty square miles. Either the British were given a part of Gilgit Agency which had an area of ​​1480 square miles.

 The present Gilgit-Baltistan, which is administered by Pakistan, covers an area of ​​28000 square miles, including Baltistan. In this agreement, Baltistan was not leased but only a small area of ​​Gilgit Agency was leased or the entire Gilgit Agency was leased.

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