327,000 in Pakistan (2004 J. Leclerc). Total users in all countries: 347,000.
Primarily northeast Pakistan, Northern Areas Province, Hunza-Nagar district; Baltistan region, Skardu, Rondu, Shigar, Khapalu, Kharmang, and Gultari valleys.
Chorbat is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 87%–100% among dialects, 78%–85% with Purik [prx].
Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab], Naskh style. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], used since the 17th century, primary usage. Balti script [Qaab], no longer in use. Devanagari script [Deva], used since the 1970s. Tibetan script [Tibt], used between 8th and 17th century, recent efforts to revive usage.