Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

From Jatland Wiki
(Redirected from Azad Kashmir)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is a self-governing administrative division of Pakistan.


The territory lies west of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, and was previously part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which ceased to exist as a result of the first Kashmir war fought between India and Pakistan in 1947.

The territory also borders Pakistan's Punjab province to the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west. To the east, Azad Kashmir is separated from the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan.


At the time of the Partition of India in 1947, the British abandoned their suzerainty over the princely states, which were left with the options of joining India or Pakistan or remaining independent. Hari Singh, the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted his state to remain independent.[1][2]

In Spring 1947, an uprising against the Maharaja broke out in Poonch, an area bordering the Rawalpindi division of West Punjab. Following this victory, the pro-Pakistan chieftains of the western Jammu districts of Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur proclaimed a provisional Azad Jammu and Kashmir government in Rawalpindi on 3 October 1947.[3]

On 21 October, several thousand Pashtun tribesmen from North-West Frontier Province poured into Jammu and Kashmir to liberate it from the Maharaja's rule. The raiders captured the towns of Muzaffarabad and Baramulla, the latter 32 km northwest of the state capital Srinagar. On 24 October, the Maharaja requested military assistance from India, which responded that it was unable to help him unless he acceded to India. Accordingly, on 26 October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed an Instrument of Accession, handing over control of defence, external affairs and communications to the Government of India in return for military aid.[4] Indian troops were immediately airlifted into Srinagar.[5] Pakistan intervened subsequently.[6] Fighting ensued between the Indian and Pakistani armies, with the two areas of control more or less stabilised around what is now known as the "Line of Control".[7]

India later approached the United Nations, asking it to resolve the dispute, and resolutions were passed in favour of the holding of a plebiscite with regard to Kashmir's future. However, no such plebiscite has ever been held on either side, since there was a precondition which required the withdrawal of the Pakistani Army along with the non-state elements and the subsequent partial withdrawal of the Indian Army.[8] from the parts of Kashmir under their respective control – a withdrawal that never took place.[9] In 1949, a formal cease-fire line separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir came into effect.

Separately-controlled political entities: Following the 1949 cease-fire agreement with India, the government of Pakistan divided the northern and western parts of Kashmir that it occupied at the time of cease-fire into the following two separately-controlled political entities:

  1. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) – the narrow, southern part, 400 km long, with a width varying from 16 to 64 km.
  2. Gilgit–Baltistan: formerly called the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) – the much larger political entity to the north of AJK with an area of 72,496 square kilometres.
  3. Aksai Chin: At one time under Pakistani control, Kashmir's Shaksgam tract, a small region along the northeastern border of Gilgit–Baltistan, was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to the People's Republic of China in 1963 and now forms part of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In 1972, the then current border between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of Kashmir was designated as the "Line of Control". This line has remained unchanged since the 1972 Simla Agreement, which bound the two countries "to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations".

Ethnic groups

Azad Jammu and Kashmir consists of almost entirely Muslim population. The inhabitants of this region belong to many communities and tribes who share ethnic and linguistic similarities with the people of Northern Punjab. The main communities living in this region are as follows:[10]

Jats - They are one of the larger community of AJK and primarily inhabit the Districts of Mirpur, Bhimber and Kotli. A large Mirpuri population lives in the UK and it is estimated that more people of Mirpuri origins are now residing in the UK than in Mirpur district. The district Mirpur retains strong ties with the UK.[11]

Gurjars - They are an agricultural tribe and are estimated to be the largest community living in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Pahari Rajputs - They primarily inhabit the Districts of Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Mirpur, Bhimber and Kotli.

Sudhan - They are a large clan living in Poonch, Sudhanoti, Bagh and Kolti districts.

Abbasi - They are a large clan in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and mostly live in Bhag, Hattian Bala and Muzaffarabad districts. Besides Azad Kashmir, they also inhabit, Abbottabad and upper Potohar Punjab in large numbers.

Awan - A clan with significant numbers found in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, living mainly in the Poonch, Hattian Bala and Muzaffarabad districts. Besides Azad Kashmir they also reside in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in large numbers.

Administrative divisions

The state is administratively divided into three divisions which, in turn, are divided into ten districts.[12]

Division District Area (km²) Population (2008) [13] Headquarters
Mirpur Mirpur 2,310 754,482 Mirpur
Kotli 2,162 834,094 Kotli
Bhimber 1,516 301,633 Bhimber
Muzaffarabad Muzaffarabad 2,496 638,973 Muzaffarabad
Hattian 854 251,000 Hattian Bala
Neelam 3,621 106,778 Athmuqam
Poonch Poonch 855 411,035 Rawalakot
Haveli 600 (est.) 150,000 (est.) Forward Kahuta
Bagh 768 351,415 Bagh
Sudhanoti 569 204,091 Palandri
AJK Total 10 districts 13,297 4,567,982 Muzaffarabad

External links


  1. "The J&K conflict: A Chronological Introduction".
  2. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. "Kashmir (region, Indian subcontinent) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia"
  3. Bose, Sumantra (2003). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01173-2. pp.32-33
  5. Bose 2003, pp. 35-36.
  6. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. "Kashmir (region, Indian subcontinent) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia".
  7. Prem Shankar Jha. "Grasping the Nettle". South Asian Journal.
  8. "UN resolution 47"
  9. "UNCIP Resolution of August 13, 1948 (S/1100) – Embassy of India, Washington, D.C."
  10. Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History, HarperCollins India, ISBN 9350298988,p. 128-133
  11. Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History, HarperCollins India, ISBN 9350298988,p. 128-133
  12. Administrative Setup
  13. City Population