Trans-Karakoram Tract

Trans-Karakoram Tract

Trans-Karakoram Tract

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The Trans-Karakoram Tract () is an area of nearly along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan until 1963. It is still claimed by India as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan gave up its claim to the tract under a border agreement with China in 1963 with the proviso that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.

Most of the tract, also called Shaksgam, is composed of the Shaksgam Valley. Most of the tract was administered as a part of Shigar, a valley in the Baltistan region. The Raja of Shigar controlled most this land until 1971, when Pakistan abolished the Raja government system. A polo ground in Shaksgam was built by the Amacha Royal family of Shigar, and the Rajas of Shigar used to invite the Amirs of Yarkand to play polo there. Most of the names of the mountains, lakes, rivers and passes are in Balti/Ladakhi, suggesting that this land had been part of Baltistan/Ladakh region for a long time.

The tract is one of the most inhospitable areas of the world, with some of the highest mountains. The tract is bounded by the Kun Lun Mountains to the north, and by the Karakoram peaks to the south, including Broad Peak, K2 and Gasherbrum. On the southeast it is adjacent to the highest battlefield in the world in the Siachen Glacier...
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