Gilgit-Baltistan Controversy Surrounds Transfer of 37 Guest Houses to Green Tourism.

Social media users have taken notice of the recent transfer of 37 guest homes and assets in Gilgit-Baltistan to Green Tourism Pvt. Ltd.

According to a document circulating online, Green Tourism, which was formed in Islamabad on January 26, 2024, under the Companies Act, 2017, is the lessee of these assets, which are controlled by the Communications & Works Department and Forest Department.

Concerns over the leasing of several properties have been raised by Gilgit-Baltistan residents. They emphasized that a large number of these properties—particularly those controlled by the Forest Department—are community-owned and cannot be leased out without the community’s consent. Political activist Abbas Mousavi and local Jirga officials stressed that the Rama property belongs to the people of Astore during a news conference in Astore, cautioning against any attempts to acquire it.

The province government was also forewarned by the elders of the area and the Daskhiram Deosai Supreme Council that if any attempt is made to seize other resources, including Deosai, they will turn Deosai back into a pasture and that we will take strong action to safeguard their resources. The council further said during the press conference at the Gilgit Press Club that they would not permit the exploitation of local resources for tourists.

Guest houses at Phandar, Gupis, Naltar, Karimabad, Hopper, Sumayar, Chillas, Babusar, Rama, Eidgah, Minimerg, Kachura, Shigar, Baltoro Skardu, Hamidgarh, Khaplu, Singul, Passu, Thalichi, and Chilum are managed by the Communications & Works Department. Buner Das, Hoto, Olding, Sailing, Babusar, Rama, Chilm, Old Forest Building, Kargah, Jutal, Phandar, Gahkuch, Borith Lake, Dehee Khunjerab, Wildlife Hut Naltar, and Forest Hut Naltar.

Furthermore, it was mentioned that, also with the SIFC’s assistance, the KPK caretaker government had already authorized the 30-year lease of 17 hotels from the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation to Green Tourism.

Gilgit-Baltistan’s netizens reacted to the government’s announcement to lease out the properties by taking to the internet and releasing news releases from a variety of individuals and local organizations.