Gilgit Baltistan will be electing representatives for the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly on Sunday, November 15.
Politicians from major political parties have campaigned furiously in the past few days. They gathered large crowds and made lofty promises as they contested for the northern territory’s Legislative Assembly seats.
Here’s what you need to know about all the constituencies up for grabs, the demographics of each constituency and their concerns ahead of the election day.
According to a 2017 population census, Gilgit Baltistan is home to 1.4 million people.
Map of Gilgit Baltistan
The mountainous territory is divided into three regions:
1. Gilgit (top, shaded in green in the map)
2. Baltistan, and (bottom right, shaded in dark green)
3. Diamer (bottom left, shaded in light green)
This region has a total headcount of 570,000 and is divided into nine constituencies.
GBA – 1 (Gilgit I)
Polling stations: 62
This area has been overlooked in terms of infrastructural development. Roads remain damaged, residents lack access to clean drinking water and electricity. Power outage in winters can last as long as 22 hours a day.
Amjad Hussain (PPP), Sultan Raees (Independent), Mustafa Shah (Islami Tehreek Pakistan), Johar Ali (PTI)
GBA – 2 (Gilgit II)
Polling stations: 73
PML-N-led government built new roads in the area at the end of its tenure, yet other outstanding issues remain. Lack of potable water, appropriate health facilities and unemployment top the list of concerns.
Fatehullah Khan (PTI), Jameel Ahmed (PPP), Hafeez-ur-Rehman (PML-N)
GBA – 3 – Elections postponed till November 22
GBA – 4 (Nagar I)
Female voters: 10,440
Male voters: 12,731
Polling stations: 42
Lack of adequate sewerage line is a major concern in this area, as is a lack of universities, which compels students to move to other districts for higher education.
Amjad Hussain (PPP), Zulfiqar Ali (PTI), Muhammad Ayub (ITP)
GBA – 5 (Nagar II)
Female voters: 6,241
Male voters: 7,760
Polling stations: 26
Internet and education top the list of the voters’ worries. The constituency also lacks educational institutes.
Mirza Hussain (PPP), Rizwan Ali (MWM), Javed Ali (Indp)
GBA – 6 (Hunza)
Female voters: 21,275
Male voters: 22,328
Polling stations: 90
The area has been deprived of electricity infrastructure and access to clean drinking water. The area’s roads are in a state of disrepair and residents complain of being cut off from the rest of the region.
Obaidullah Beg (PTI), Zahoor Karim (PPP), Kamil Jan (Indp)
GBA – 19 (Ghizer I)
Female voters: 17,511
Male voters: 20,297
Polling stations: 51
Healthcare is a primary issue as the constituency lacks a Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. Scarcity of educational facilities in the area has left girls the most affected. They often give up on their education after secondary school. Internet issues are also a concern.
Shakeel Ahmed (Indp), Syed Jalal Shah (PPP), Nawaz Khan Naji (Indp)
GBA – 20 (Ghizer II)
Female voters: 19,245
Male voters: 23,288
Polling stations: 52
Critical care and women’s health are significant challenges in the constituency. The largest health facility lacks a gynecologist or surgeon, patients who require such care need to be taken to hospitals in other districts.
Ali Sher (PPP), Nazeer Ahmed (PTI), Safdar Ali Sherazi (Indp)
GBA – 21 (Ghizer III)
Female voters: 15,846
Male voters: 19,129
Polling stations: 52
A severe shortage of potable water in the area has forced people to turn to rivers and canals, leading to frequent outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
Raja Jahanzeb (PTI), Muhammad Ayub Shah (PPP), Ghulam Mohammad (PML-N)
The Baltistan region has a population of 538,300 and consists of nine constituencies.
GBA – 7 (Skardu I)
Female voters: 7,905
Male voters: 9,222
Polling stations: 28
Infrastructural issues proliferate the area, as a significant chunk of the constituents live in darkness due to a bare-bones electricity infrastructure. Furthermore, roads are broken and the area lacks adequate health facilities.
Syed Mehdi Shah (PPP), Raja Zakeria Khan (PTI), Muhammad Iqbal (ITP)
GBA – 8 (Skardu)
Female voters: 17,716
Male voters: 21,851
Polling stations: 54
Unemployment is the constituents’ foremost concern. Moreover, educational facilities in the area are lacking as girls have no college to go to while boys have just one.
Imtiaz Haider (Indp), Mohammad Ali Shah (PPP), Mohammad Kazim (MWM)
GBA – 9 (Skardu III)
Female voters: 11,569
Male voters: 13,993
Polling stations: 55
Residents of this constituency worry about a lack of potable water, electricity and unemployment.
Wazeer Waqar (PPP), FidaNashad (PTI), Wazeer Mohammad Saleem( Indp)
GBA – 10 (Skardu IV)
Female voters: 12,098
Male voters: 14,741
Polling stations: 46
The roads of the area are not fit for travel and electricity supply is patchy.
Wazeer Hassan (PTI), Sikander Ali (ITP), Wazeer Mohammad Khan (PPP)
GBA – 11 (Kharmang)
Female voters: 12,409
Male voters: 14,478
Polling stations: 42
Long overlooked, the constituency lacks proper facilities for water and electricity.
Syed Amjad Ali (PTI), Niaz Ali Siam (PPP), Syed Mohsin Rizvi (Indp)
GBA – 12 (Shigar)
Female voters: 16,663
Male voters: 19,520
Polling stations: 70
The area lacks health and educational facilities.
Imran Nadeem (PPP), Raja Azam Khan (PTI), Tahir Shigri (PML-N)
GBA – 22 (Ghanche I)
Female voters: 13,185
Male voters: 15,715
Polling stations: 57
The constituency is one of the areas worst affected by natural disasters which occurred in the past. There is widespread devastation caused by flooding and landslides. The area’s infrastructure has yet to see improvement.
Mohammad Sanai (PTI), Mohammad Jaffar (PTI)
GBA – 23 (Ghanche II)
Female voters: 12,533
Male voters: 15,711
Polling stations: 48
The constituency lacks basic education and health facilities. Moreover, residents do not have access to clean drinking water.
Ghulam Ali Haideri (PPP), Ghulam Hussain (PML-N), Amina Bibi (PTI)
GBA – 24 (Ghanche III)
Male voters: 10,588
Female voters: 9,599
Polling stations: 43
This area lacks basic education and health facilities. It has poor infrastructure and unavailability of potable water.
Syed Shamusuddin (PTI), Mohammad Ismail (PPP), Engineer Manzoor Hussain (PML-N)
The Diamer region has a total population of 394,400.
GBA – 13 (Astore I)
Female voters: 15,146
Male voters: 18,232
Polling stations: 49
The most pressing concern of the constituents is the lack of health facilities. Patients requiring surgery are forced to travel to other cities which are at least three hours away.
Dr Ghulam Abbas (Indp), Khalid Khurshid (PTI), Abdul Hamid Khan (PPP)
GBA – 14 (Astore II)
Female voters: 13,192
Male voters: 15,831
Polling stations: 47
While the area is relatively more developed, the main road connecting it to the Karakoram Highway is in need of repair. In its tenure, the PPP government began constructing a tunnel for the residents, but it never saw the light of day.
Shamsul Haq (PTI), Muzaffar Ali (PPP) and Rana Farooq (PML-N)
GBA – 15 (Diamer I)
Female voters: 17,448
Male voters: 17,737
Polling stations: 45
The area lacks access to clean water, while broken roads and ill-maintained bridges have left residents traversing a rickety wooden bridge to reach nearby villages.
Wali-ur-Rehman (JUI-F), Noushad Ali (PTI), Bashir Ahmed (PPP), Abdul Wajid (PML-N)
GBA – 16 (Diamer II)
Female voters: 15, 660
Male voters: 18,708
Polling stations: 41
Electricity load-shedding is a major concern for the constituents. In the cold winter months, power outages can last as long as two days.
Atiqullah (PTI), Attaullah (Indp), Mohammad Anwar (PML-N), Haji Dilbar Khan (PPP)
GBA – 17 (Diamer III)
Female voters: 13,682
Male voters: 16,273
Polling stations: 39
The roads in the constituency are in a state of disrepair, while the only hospital in the area offers very basic services.
Rehman Khalid (JUI-F), Haider Khan (PTI), Ghaffar Khan (PPP), Sardar Alam (PML-N)
GBA – 18 (Diamer IV)
Female voters: 11,363
Male voters: 77,08
Polling stations: 26
Healthcare and education are primary concerns for voters as the constituency has only one hospital and very few schools.
Gulbar Khan (PTI), Kifayat Ur Rehman (Indp), Sadia Danish (PPP)