The Gilgit Scouts was 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.
In 1891, the force fought against forces from Nagar princely state in the battle of Nilt Nagar (Anglo-Brusho War at battled field of Nilt), part of the Nagar Campaign. In 1913, the force was reorganized on a company basis and became known as the "Gilgit Scouts", joining the Frontier Corps.
When the Gilgit Scouts were raised, its strength was 582. 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. 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.
Gilgit Baltistan Scouts
The force was re-raised in 2003 as Northern Area Scouts under command of Brigadier Inayat Wali. It quickly progressed and took over the responsibilities of Law and Order in Gilgit Baltistan. January 18, 2011, The Interior Ministry rechristened the Northern Areas Scouts as Gilgit Baltistan Scouts, in view of the reforms introduced in the region.
- "Northern Light Infantry Regiment". GlobalSecurity.org. Archived from the original on 2010-09-12.
- Bajwa, Kuldip Singh (1 January 2004). Jammu and Kashmir War: 1947 & 1948. India: Har Anand Publications. p. 140. ISBN 978-81-241-0923-6. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- Pakistan Army Web Portal. "Northern Light Infantry Regiment (NLI)". Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- Schofield, Victoria (2003). Kashmir in conflict: India, Pakistan and the unending war. I.B.Tauris. p. 297. ISBN 978-1-86064-898-4.