On 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President Asif Ali Zardari. It granted self-rule to the people of the former Northern Areas, now renamed "Gilgit-Baltistan," by creating, among other things, an elected legislative assembly. This package was rejected as an eyewash by Balawaristan National Front whose spokesperson stated “It’s meant to detract the international community from the violation of human rights in this region.” Manzoor Hussain Parwana, chairman Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement stated “The so-called provincial setup aims at concealing the human rights violations and continue the colonial control over the region.”
In early September 2009, Pakistan signed an agreement with China of a mega energy project in Gilgit-Baltistan which includes the construction of a 7000-megawatt dam at Bunji in the Astore District of the Gilgit-Baltistan. This also resulted in protest from India, however Indian concerns were immediately rejected by Pakistan, saying the Government of India has no locus standi in the matter.
On September 29, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani while addressing a huge gathering at Gilgit-Baltistan announced a multi-billion rupee development package aimed at the socio-economic uplifting people in the area. Development projects will include the areas of education, health, agriculture, tourism and basic needs of life. The Prime Minister further went on to say:
"You are getting your identity today. It is your right and has been your demand, and today we are fulfilling it."