AZAD JAMMU AND KASHMIR (
Urdu : آزاد جموں و کشمیر
Āzād Jammū̃ o Kaśmīr, translation: Free Jammu and
abbreviated as AJK and commonly known as AZAD KASHMIR, is a nominally
self-governing polity administered by
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
which ceased to exist as a result of the first
Kashmir war fought
Pakistan in 1947.
Kashmir is part of the greater
Kashmir region, which is the
subject of a long-running conflict between
Pakistan and India. The
territory shares a border with
Gilgit-Baltistan , together with which
it is referred to by the
United Nations and other international
organisations as "Pakistan-administered Kashmir". Azad
one-sixth of the size of
Gilgit-Baltistan . 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. Azad
Kashmir has a
total area of 13,297 square kilometres (5,134 sq mi), with an
estimated population of around 4.6 million people.
The territory has a parliamentary form of government modeled after
Westminster system , with its capital located at
President is the constitutional head of state, while the Prime
Minister , supported by a Council of Ministers, is the chief
executive. The unicameral Azad
Legislative Assembly elects
Prime Minister and President. The state has its own Supreme
Court and a High Court, while the Government of
Pakistan 's Ministry
Kashmir Affairs and
Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a link with Azad
Kashmir's government, although Azad
Kashmir is not represented in the
The 2005 earthquake killed 100,000 people and left another three
million people displaced, with widespread devastation. Since then,
with help from the Government of
Pakistan and foreign donors,
reconstruction of infrastructure is underway. Azad Kashmir's economy
largely depends on agriculture, services, tourism, and remittances
sent by members of the
British Mirpuri community. Nearly 87% of the
households own farms in Azad Kashmir, while the region has a literacy
rate of approximately 72% and has the highest school enrollment in
* 1 History
* 2 Government
* 2.1 Development in AJK
* 3 Administrative divisions
* 4 Geography and climate
* 5 Ethnic groups
* 6 Culture
* 7 Economy
* 8 Education
* 8.1 Universities
* 8.1.1 Cadet College Pallandri
* 8.2 Medical colleges
* 8.2.1 Private medical colleges
* 9 Sports
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 References
* 13 Further reading
* 14 External links
Main articles: History of Azad
1947 Poonch Rebellion
Map of the entire
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
Pakistan or remaining independent. Hari
Singh , the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted his state to remain
independent. Muslims in Western Jammu province (current day Azad
Kashmir) and the Frontier Districts Province (current day
Gilgit-Baltistan ) had wanted to join
In Spring 1947, an uprising against the
Maharaja broke out in Poonch
, an area bordering the
Rawalpindi division of
West Punjab .
Maharaja's administration is said to have started levying punitive
taxes on the peasantry which provoked a local revolt and the
administration resorted to brutal suppression. The area's population,
swelled by recently demobilised soldiers following
World War II
World War II ,
rebelled against the Maharaja's forces and gained control of almost
the entire district. Following this victory, the pro-Pakistan
chieftains of the western districts of
Muzaffarabad , Poonch and
Mirpur proclaimed a provisional Azad Jammu and
Kashmir government in
Rawalpindi on October 3, 1947. Khwaja Ghulam Nabi Gilkar , under the
assumed name "Mr. Anwar," issued a proclamation in the name of the
provisional government in
Muzaffarabad . However, this government
quickly fizzled out with the arrest of Anwar in Srinagar. On October
24, a second provisional government of Azad
Kashmir was established at
Palandri under the leadership of
Sardar Ibrahim .
On October 21, several thousand Pashtun tribesmen from North-West
Frontier Province poured into Jammu and
Kashmir to liberate it from
the Maharaja's rule. They were led by experienced military leaders and
were equipped with modern arms. The Maharaja's crumbling forces were
unable to withstand the onslaught. The raiders captured the towns of
Baramulla , the latter 20 miles (32 km) northwest of
the state capital
Srinagar . On October 24, the
military assistance from India, which responded that it was unable to
help him unless he acceded to India. Accordingly, on October 26, 1947,
Hari Singh signed an Instrument of Accession , handing over
control of defence, external affairs and communications to the
India in return for military aid. Indian troops were
immediately airlifted into Srinagar.
subsequently. 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 ".
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. from the parts of
Kashmir under their respective
control – a withdrawal that never took place. In 1949, a formal
cease-fire line separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts
Kashmir came into effect.
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:
* Azad Jammu and
Kashmir (AJK) – the narrow, southern part, 250
miles (400 km) long, with a width varying from 10 to 40 miles (16 to
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 (27,991 sq mi).
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". Some political experts claim
that, in view of that pact, the only solution to the issue is mutual
negotiation between the two countries without involving a third party
such as the United Nations. The 1974 Interim Constitution Act was
passed by the 48-member Azad Jammu and
Kashmir unicameral assembly.
See also: Azad Jammu "> Districts of Azad
Azad Jammu and
Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing state under
Pakistani control, but under Pakistan\'s constitution the state is
informally part of the country.
Pakistan is administering the region
as a self-governing territory rather than incorporating it in the
federation since the UN-mandated ceasefire. Azad
Kashmir has its own
Prime Minister ,
Legislative Assembly , High Court
, with Azam Khan as its present chief justice, and official flag.
Azad Kashmir's financial matters, i.e., budget and tax affairs, are
dealt with by the Azad Jammu and
Kashmir Council rather than by
Pakistan's Central Board of Revenue. The Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Council is a supreme body consisting of 14 members, 8 from the
government of Azad Jammu and
Kashmir and 6 from the government of
Pakistan. Its chairman/chief executive is the prime minister of
Pakistan. Other members of the council are the president and the prime
minister of Azad Kashmir(or and individual nominated by her/him) and 6
members of the AJK Legislative Assembly. Azad
Kashmir Day is
celebrated in Azad Jammu and
Kashmir on October 24, which is the day
that the Azad Jammu and
Kashmir government was created in 1947.
Pakistan has celebrated
Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 of each
year since 1990 as a day of protest against
India 's de facto
sovereignty over its State of Jammu and
Kashmir . That day is a
national holiday in Pakistan.
Kashmiris in Azad
Kashmir observe the
Kashmir Black Day on October 27 of each year since 1947 as day of
protest against military occupation in Indian controlled Jammu and
Brad Adams the Asia director at the U.S. based
NGO Human Rights Watch
has said in 2006; "Although 'azad' means 'free,' the residents of Azad
Kashmir are anything but, the Pakistani authorities govern Azad
Kashmir government with tight controls on basic freedoms." Scholar
Christopher Snedden has observed that despite tight controls the
people of Azad
Kashmir have generally accepted whatever
done to them, which in any case has varied little from how most
Pakistanis have been treated (by Pakistan). According to Christopher
Snedden one of the reasons for this was that the people of Azad
Kashmir had always wanted to be a part of Pakistan.
Consequently, having little to fear from a pro-
devoid of options,
Pakistan imposed its will through the Federal
Kashmir Affairs and failed to empower the people of Azad
Kashmir, allowing genuine self-government for only a short period in
the 1970s. The Interim Constitution of the 1970s only allows the
political parties that pay allegiance to Pakistan: "No person or
political party in Azad Jammu and
Kashmir shall be permitted...
activities prejudicial or detrimental to the State's accession to
Pakistan." The pro-independence Jammu and
Kashmir Liberation Front
has never been allowed to contest elections in Azad Kashmir. While
the Interim Constitution does not give them a choice, the people of
Kashmir have not considered any option other than joining
Pakistan. Except in the legal sense, Azad
Kashmir has been fully
integrated into Pakistan.
DEVELOPMENT IN AJK
According to the project report by the
Asian Development Bank ; The
Asian Development Bank has set out development goals for Azad Kashmir
in the areas of Health, Education, Nutrition and Social development.
The whole project is estimated to cost $76 million Dollars. Germany
between 2006 and 2014 has also donated $38,180,000 towards the AJK
Health Infrastructure Programme.
The state is administratively divided into three divisions which, in
turn, are divided into ten districts.
New Mirpur City
Kotla Bagh Azad
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
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Landscape of Azad kashmir
The northern part of Azad Jammu and
Kashmir encompasses the lower
part of the
Himalayas , including Jamgarh Peak (15,531 feet ).
However, Sarwali peak in the
Neelum Valley is the highest peak in the
state. Fertile, green, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad
Kashmir's geography, making it one of the most beautiful regions on
The southern parts of Azad
Kashmir including Bhimber, Mirpur and
Kotli districts has extremely hot weather in summers and moderate cold
weather in winters. It receives rains mostly in monsoon weather.
Paddy field in Leepa valley
In the central and northern parts of state weather remains moderate
hot in summers and very cold and chilly in winter. Snow fall also
occurs there in December and January.
This region receives rainfall in both winters and summers.
Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of the state.
Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm,
with the highest average rainfall occurring near
1800 mm). During summer, monsoon floods of the Jhelum and Leepa rivers
are common, due to high rainfall and melting snow.
Azad Jammu and
Kashmir has an almost entirely Muslim population. Most
residents of the region are not ethnic Kashmiris. The majority of
people in Azad
Kashmir are ethnically Punjabi. While
Urdu is the
official language of the region, other languages commonly spoken are
Gojri and Potohari . The main communities living in this
region are as follows:
Gurjar -They are an agricultural tribe and are estimated to be the
largest community living in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
* Jat - 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.
Pahari Rajputs - They primarily inhabit the Districts of
Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Mirpur,
Sudhan - They are a large clan living in Poonch ,
Sudhanoti , Bagh
* Abbasi - They are a large clan in Azad Jammu and
mostly live in Bhag, Jhelum Valley 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, Jhelum Valley and Muzaffarabad
districts. Besides Azad
Kashmir they also reside in Punjab and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa in large numbers.
Kashmiris - Ethnic Kashmiri populations are found in Neelam Valley
Leepa Valley .
The culture of Azad
Kashmir has many similarities to that of northern
Punjabi (Potohar ) culture in Punjab province. The natives of Azad
Urdu , Potwari , and the
Pahari languages . The Kashmiri
language is spoken by hardly 5% of Azad Kashmir's population according
to Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari. Professor Khawaja Abdul
Rehman states that the
Kashmiri language is on the verge of dying out
in the Neelam Valley.
The traditional dress of the women is the shalwar kameez in Pahari
style. The shalwar kameez is commonly worn by both men and women.
Women use shawl to cover their head and upper body.
Main article: Economy of Azad
Kashmir Neelum valley is a
popular tourist destination in Azad Kashmir.
Historically the economy of these areas now called ‘Azad’ Kashmir
has been agricultural which meant that land was the main source or
mean of production. This means that all food for immediate and long
term consumption was produced from land. The produce included various
crops, fruits, vegetables etc. Land was also the source of other
livelihood necessities such as wood, fuel, grazing for animals which
then turned into dairy products. Because of this land was also the
main source of revenue for the governments whose primary purpose for
centuries was to accumulate revenue.
Agriculture is a major part of Azad Kashmir's economy. Low-lying
areas that have high populations grow crops like barley , mangoes ,
millet , corn (maize), and wheat, and also raise cattle. In the
elevated areas that are less populated and more spread-out, forestry,
corn, and livestock are the main sources of income. There are mineral
and marble resources in Azad
Kashmir close to Mirpur and Muzaffarabad
. There are also graphite deposits at Mohriwali. There are also
reservoirs of low-grade coal, chalk , bauxite , and zircon . Local
household industries produce carved wooden objects, textiles, and
dhurrie carpets. There is also an arts and crafts industry that
produces such cultural goods as namdas, shawls, pashmina, pherans,
Papier-mâché , basketry copper, rugs, wood carving, silk and woolen
clothing, patto, carpets, namda gubba, and silverware. Agricultural
goods produced in the region include mushrooms, honey, walnuts,
apples, cherries, medicinal herbs and plants, resin, deodar, kail,
chir, fir, maple, and ash timber. Munda Gali Leepa valley AJK
The migration to UK was accelerated and by the completion of Mangla
Dam in 1967 the process of ‘chain migration ’ became in full flow.
Today, remittances from
British Mirpuri community make a critical role
in AJK's economy. In the mid-1950s various economic and social
development processes were launched in Azad Kashmir. In the 1960s,
with the construction of the
Mangla Dam in
Mirpur District , the Azad
Kashmir Government began to receive royalties from the
Pakistani government for the electricity that the dam provided to
Pakistan. During the mid-2000s, a multibillion-dollar reconstruction
began in the aftermath of the 2005
Kashmir earthquake .
In addition to agriculture, textiles, and arts and crafts,
remittances have played a major role in the economy of Azad Kashmir.
One analyst estimated that the figure for Azad
Kashmir was 25.1% in
2001. With regard to annual household income, people living in the
higher areas are more dependent on remittances than are those living
in the lower areas. In the latter part of 2006, billions of dollars
for development were mooted by international aid agencies for the
reconstruction and rehabilitation of earthquake-hit zones in Azad
Kashmir, though much of that amount was subsequently lost in
bureaucratic channels, leading to considerable delays in help getting
to the most needy. Hundreds of people continued to live in tents long
after the earthquake. A land-use plan for the city of Muzaffarabad
was prepared by the
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Japan International Cooperation Agency .
Kashmir as a whole is the one of the most beautiful regions in the
world. Some well-known and popular tourist destinations are the
* MUZAFFARABAD , the capital city of Azad Kashmir, is located on the
banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. It is 138 kilometres (86 mi)
Islamabad . Well-known tourist spots near
Muzaffarabad are the Red Fort , Pir Chinassi , Patika,
Subri Lake and
Awan Patti .
* The NEELAM VALLEY is situated to the north and northeast of
Muzaffarabad, The gateway to the valley. The main tourist attractions
in the valley are
Kutton , Keran , Changan , Sharda , Kel ,
Arang Kel and
* SUDHANOTI is one of the eight districts of Azad
Sudhanoti is located 90 km away from Islamabad, the Capital
of Pakistan. It is connected with
Azad Pattan road.
* RAWALAKOT city is the headquarters of Poonch District and is
located 122 kilometres (76 mi) from Islamabad. Tourist attractions in
Poonch District are
Banjosa Lake ,
Devi Gali ,
Tatta Pani , and Toli
* BAGH city, the headquarters of Bagh District, is 205 kilometres
(127 mi) from
Islamabad and 100 kilometres (62 mi) from Muzaffarabad.
The principal tourist attractions in
Bagh District are Bagh Fort,
Sudhan Gali , Ganga Lake ,
Ganga Choti , Kotla Waterfall ,
Neela Butt , Danna ,
Panjal Mastan National Park, and
Las Danna .
* The LEEPA VALLEY is located 105 kilometres (65 mi) southeast of
Muzaffarabad. It is the most charming and scenic place for tourists in
* NEW MIRPUR CITY is the headquarters of Mirpur District. The main
tourist attractions near
New Mirpur City are the Mangla Lake and
Ramkot Fort .
The literacy rate in Azad
Kashmir was 62% in 2004, higher than in any
region in Pakistan. However, only 2.2% were graduates, compared to
the average of 2.9% for Pakistan.
The following is a list of universities recognised by Higher
Education Commission of
Pakistan (HEC): Mirpur University of
Science and Technology
Mirpur University of Science and Technology, Mirpur
Engineering & Technology
University of Azad Jammu and
University of Azad Jammu and
Kashmir (Neelam Campus)
University of Azad Jammu and
Kashmir (Jhelum Valley Campus)
Jhelum Valley District
Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University
University of Poonch (Rawlakot Campus)
University of Poonch ( SM Campus, Mong, Sudhnoti District)
University of Poonch ( Kahuta Campus, Haveli District)
Women University of Azad Jammu and
University of Management Sciences and Information Technology
Mirpur University of Science and Technology (
Science border:solid #aaa 1px">
* Geography portal
* Asia portal
* South Asia portal
* 1941 Census of Jammu and
* Human rights abuses in Azad
* Separatist movements of
* ^ The Indian government and Indian sources refer to Azad Kashmir
as "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" ("PoK") or "Pakistan-held Kashmir"
(PHK), sometimes in conjunction with other areas of
Pakistani control . "Pakistan-administered Kashmir" and
"Pakistan-controlled Kashmir" are used by neutral sources.
Conversely, Pakistani sources call the territory under Indian control
"Indian-Occupied Kashmir" ("IOK") or "Indian-Held Kashmir" ("IHK").
* ^ Officially, Mirpur and Poonch districts were in the Jammu
province of the state and
Muzaffarabad was in the
All three provinces spoke languages related to Punjabi , not the
Kashmiri language spoken in the
Kashmir Valley .
* ^ Snedden (2013 , p. 176): On p. 29, the census report states
Urdu is the official language of the Government of Azad Kashmir,
with Kashmiri, Pahari, Gojri, Punjabi, Kohistani, Pushto and Sheena
`frequently spoken in Azad Kashmir'. Yet, when surveyed about their
`Mother Tongue', Azad Kashmiris' choices were limited to selecting
from Pakistan's major languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto,
Balochi, Saraiki and `Others'; not surprisingly, 2.18 million of Azad
Kashmir's 2.97 million people chose `Others'.
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