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a nationality in northern India and Pakistan. They inhabit the so-called Baltistan region (where the Shyok and Shiggar rivers come together with the Indus River). The population was more than 200,000 according to a 1967 estimate. The Balti language belongs to the Tibetan group of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. The Balti are members of the Shia branch of the Muslim religion; there are also Buddhists. The Balti are linguistically and physically related to the Tibetans, although economically and culturally they are more closely connected to the peoples of northern India. The principal occupations of the Balti are farming, horticulture, and cattle breeding.
REFERENCESNarody luzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
W. R. L. “Baltistan and Its People,” Kashmir, 1957, March, vol. 7, no. 3.