Ladakh was a British frontier post on the land route to China through the Karakoram Pass. Ladakh was under Wazir Wazarat, who also responsible for Baltistan and had three tehsils, namely Skardu, Kargil and Ladakh. In winters Wazir Wazarat used to reside in Skardu, Baltistan. Historically, Skardu held a strategic position towards Ladakh (IOK) on one side and the other beyond Karakoram Pass in Yakand valley in China. The Ladakhi belong to the Mongolian race, mostly of short height and the people of Baltistan are also of Tibetan origin and differ from the Ladkhi, being taller with different social habits and being Muslims.
At the same time, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan also have close religious, ethnic links with the people of Kargil. The main languages spoken are Shina and Balti, the languages of Gilgit-Baltistan. During the liberation war of 1948, the liberation forces occupied Dras and Kargil and were also knocking the doors of Leh. The areas were re-occupied by the Indian army when liberation forces retreated to Olding for regrouping when ceasefire was announced. Today, the Pakistan army has strategic superiority where it threatens the line of communication to Siachen through Kargil.
The Siachen glacier is situated in Baltistan west of Daulat Beg Oldi is of immense significance. India started occupying key peaks in April 1984 in a major airborne operation 'Meghdoot'. From the Indian occupation sites, the terrain slopes down to positions held by Pakistan army which leads to major towns in Baltistan. The longest river of Pakistan Indus originates from Manasarovar lake in Tibet, flows through Tibet, Ladakh enters Skardu, flows to Gilgit and to Terbella. Shyok river originates from Rimo glacier and joins Naubra river at Disket flows through Chalunka, Turtuk, Tyakshi and Thang (Pakistani villages occupied in 1971 war) and enters Baltistan at Fraono village. The Shyok river joins Indus river at Keris short of Skardu.
On March 3, 1963, the China-Pakistan border agreement was signed amicably; contrary to rumours/reports by Indian media that an area from 2000 to 13000 square kilometres was ceded to China is totally unfounded and baseless. The fact is that Pakistan has not ceded even one square inch of land to China, rather it has gained 750 square miles of territory which was under Chinese control in the area of Shimshal and K2. Article 6 of the agreement envisages its revision after conclusion of the Jammu and Kashmir settlement.