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The Gilgit Scouts is the name of a paramilitary force that was originally raised, under the name the "Gligit Levies", in 1889, by British Army Colonel Algernon Durand. The force was originally headquartered in Gilgit, which was the principal city of the Gilgit Agency, located within the territory of the Princely state of Kashmir and Jammu.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1891, the force fought against forces from Hunza in the battle of Nilt, part of the Hunza-Nagar Campaign.[1] In 1913, the force was reorganized on a company basis and became known as the "Gilgit Scouts", joining the Frontier Corps.[2]

When the Gilgit Scouts were raised, its strength was 582.[3] The recruitment in the Gilgit scouts was based on the recommendation of Mirs and Rajas of the area. Close relatives of Mirs and Rajas were given direct Viceregal commissions in the corps of Gilgit scouts.

After the Partition of India, the Gilgit Scouts joined with the forces of the Pakistan Army in attacks against forces of the erstwhile princely state during the First Kashmir War. According to British Major William Brown, one-time commanding officer, there was a secret plan among the Gilgit Scouts to set up a "Republic of Gilgit-Astor(e)" when they ousted the armed forces of the Maharajah of Kashmir on November 1, 1947, but on November 2, the Pakistani flag was raised in Gilgit.[4] After conclusion of the war, the Gilgit Scouts operated as a paramilitary force in the Northern Areas, until 1975, when it became amalgamated into the Northern Light Infantry Regiment.

References[edit | edit source]

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