Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Urdu: آزاد جموں و کشمیر Āzād Jammū̃ o Kaśmīr, translation: Free Jammu and Kashmir), abbreviated as AJK and commonly known as Azad Kashmir, is a nominally self-governing jurisdiction administered by Pakistan. The territory lies west of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, and was part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad 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".[note 1] Azad Kashmir is 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 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), and a total population of 4,045,366 as per the 2017 Census.
The territory has a parliamentary form of government modeled after the Westminster system, with its capital located at Muzaffarabad. The President is the constitutional head of state, while the Prime Minister, supported by a Council of Ministers, is the chief executive. The unicameral Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly elects both the Prime Minister and President. The state has its own Supreme Court and a High Court, while the Government of Pakistan's Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a link with Azad Kashmir's government, although Azad Kashmir is not represented in the Parliament of Pakistan.
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 Pakistan.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir
آزاد جموں و کشمیر
Sharda town in Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir is shown in red and rest of Pakistan is shown in white and rest of Jammu and Kashmir is hatched showing area with Pakistan's territorial claim
|Anthem||Watan Hamara Azad Kashmir|
|Established||October 24, 1947 (Azad Kashmir Day)|
|Largest city||New Mirpur City|
|• Type||Self-governing state under Pakistani administration|
|• Body||Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly|
|• President||Masood Khan|
|• Prime Minister||Raja Farooq Haider (PML-N)|
|• Total||13,297 km2 (5,134 sq mi)|
|• Total||4.45 million|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (PKT)|
|ISO 3166 code||PK-JK|
|Ethnic Groups||Gujjar (largest)|
The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower area of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak (4,734 m or 15,531 ft). However, Hari Parbat peak in 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 of the subcontinent.
The region receives rainfall in both the winter and the summer. Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of Pakistan. Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, with the highest average rainfall occurring near Muzaffarabad (around 1800 mm). During the summer season, monsoon floods of the rivers Jhelum and Leepa are common due to extreme rains and snow melting.
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. Muslims in Western Jammu province (current day Azad Kashmir) and the Frontier Districts Province (current day Gilgit-Baltistan) had wanted to join Pakistan.
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, 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.[note 2] 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 Khan.
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 Muzaffarabad and Baramulla, the latter 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the state capital Srinagar. On October 24, the Maharaja requested military assistance from India, which responded that it was unable to help him unless he acceded to India. Accordingly, on October 26, 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. Indian troops were immediately airlifted into Srinagar. Pakistan intervened 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 of 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:
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.
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 elected President, 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 Kashmir.
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 Pakistan has 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-Pakistan population devoid of options, Pakistan imposed its will through the Federal Ministry of 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 Azad Kashmir have not considered any option other than joining Pakistan. Except in the legal sense, Azad Kashmir has been fully integrated into Pakistan.
According to the project report by the Asian Development Bank, the 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 US$76 million. Germany, between 2006 and 2014, has also donated $38 million towards the AJK Health Infrastructure Programme.
|Division||District||Area (km²)||Population (2017 Census)||Headquarters|
|Mirpur||Mirpur||1,010||456,200||New Mirpur City|
|Jhelum Valley||854||230,529||Jhelum Valley|
The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower part of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak (15,531 feet [4,734 meters]). 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 subcontinent.
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.
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 Muzaffarabad (around 1800 mm). During summer, monsoon floods of the Jhelum and Leepa rivers are common, due to high rainfall and melting snow.
The population of Azad Kashmir, according to the preliminary results of the 2017 Census, is 4.45 million. The website of the AJK government reports the literacy rate to be 74%, with the enrolment rate in primary school being 98% and 90% for boys and girls respectively.
The population of Azad Kashmir is almost entirely Muslim. The people of this region culturally differ from the Kashmiris living in the Kashmir Valley of Jammu and Kashmir, and are closer to the culture of Jammu. Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber are all old towns of the Jammu region.
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. The main communities living in this region are:
The culture of Azad Kashmir has many similarities to that of northern Punjabi (Potohar) culture in Punjab province, while the Sudhans have oral tradition of Pashtuns, Peshawari turban is one of famous element wore by Sudhans.
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.
The official language of Azad Kashmir is Urdu,[note 3] while English is used in higher domains. The majority of the population, however, speak dialects of the Pahari-Pothwari language complex. These are also spoken across the Line of Control in neighbouring areas of Indian Jammu and Kashmir, and are closely related both to Punjabi to the south and Hinko to the northwest. The language variety in the southern districts of Azad Kashmir is known by a variety of names – including Mirpuri, Pothwari and Pahari – and is closely related to the Pothwari proper spoken to the east in the Pothohar region of Punjab. The dialect(s) of the central districts are occasionally referred to in the literature as Chibhali or Punchi, but the speakers themselves usually call them Pahari, an unfortunately ambiguous name that is also used for several unrelated languages of the Lower Himalayas. Going north, the speech forms gradually change into Hindko. Already in Muzaffarabad District the preferred local name for the language is Hindko, although it is still apparently more closely related to the core dialects of Pahari. Further north in the Neelam Valley, the dialect, locally known as Parmi, is more unambiguously subsumed under Hindko.
Another major language of Azad Kashmir is Gujari. It is spoken by several hundred thousand[note 4] people among the traditionally nomadic Gujars, many of whom are nowadays settled. Not all ethnic Gujars speak Gujari, the proportion of those who have shifted to other languages is probably higher in southern Azad Kashmir. Gujari is most closely related to the Rajasthani languages (particularly Mewati), although it also shares features with Punjabi. It is dispersed over large areas in northern Pakistan and India. Within Pakistan, the Gujari dialects of Azad Kashmir are more similar, in terms of shared basic vocabulary and mutual intelligibility, to the Gujar varieties of the neighbouring Hazara region than to the dialects spoken further to the northwest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and north in Gilgit.
There are scattered communities of Kashmiri speakers, notably in the Neelam Valley, where they form the second-largest language group after speakers of Hindko. There have been calls for the teaching of Kashmiri (particularly in order to counter India's claim of promoting the culture of Kashmir), but the limited attempts at introducing the language at the secondary school level have not been successful, and it is Urdu, rather than Kashmiri, that Kashmiri Muslims have seen as their identity symbol. There is an ongoing process of gradual shift to larger local languages, but at least in the Neelam Valley there still exist communities for whom Kashmiri is the sole mother tongue.
In the northernmost district of Neelam there are pockets of other languages: Shina, with two distinct varieties spoken in three villages, Pashto, the language of two villages on the Line of Control, and the endangered Kundal Shahi, spoken by some of the inhabitants of the eponymous village and the only language not found outside Azad Kashmir.
Historically the economy of 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.
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 Jammu and 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.
Some well-known and popular tourist destinations are the following:
|Mirpur University of Science and Technology, Mirpur||Mirpur||1980 (2008)*||Public||Engineering & Technology|||
|University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir||Muzaffarabad||1980||Public||General|||
|University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Neelam Campus)||Neelum||2013||Public||General|||
|University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Jhelum Valley Campus)||Jhelum Valley District||2013||Public||General|||
|Al-Khair University||Mirpur||1994 (2011*)||Private||General|||
|Mohi-ud-Din Islamic University||Nerian Sharif||2000||Private||General|||
|University of Poonch (Rawlakot Campus)||Rawalakot||1980 (2012)*||Public||General|||
|University of Poonch ( SM Campus, Mong, Sudhnoti District)||Sudhnoti District||2014||Public||General|||
|University of Poonch ( Kahuta Campus, Haveli District)||Haveli District||2015||Public||General|||
|Women University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Bagh||Bagh||2013||Public||General|||
|University of Management Sciences and Information Technology||Kotli||2014||Public||General|||
|Mirpur University of Science and Technology ( Bhimber Campus)||Bhimber||2013||Public||Science & Humanities|||
* Granted university status.
Football, cricket and volleyball are very popular in Azad Kashmir. Many tournaments are also held throughout the year and in the holy month of Ramazan night-time flood-lit tournaments are also organised.
New Mirpur City has a cricket stadium (Quaid-e-Azam Stadium) which has been taken over by the Pakistan Cricket Board for renovation to bring it up to International standards. There is also a cricket stadium in Muzaffarabad with the capacity of 8,000 people. This stadium has hosted 8 matches of Inter-District Under 19 Tournament 2013.
There are also registered football clubs:
Azad Kashmir – "Free Kashmir," the more populated and nominally self-governing part of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir
These are self-ruled autonomous regions. But restrictions apply.
Similarly, Muslims in Western Jammu Province, particularly in Poonch, many of whom had martial capabilities, and Muslims in the Frontier Districts Province strongly wanted J&K to join Pakistan.
Second, Azad Kashmiris had always wanted to be part of this nation.
Confusingly, the term 'Kashmiri' also has wider connotations and uses. Some people in Azad Kashmir call themselves 'Kashmiris'. This is despite most Azad Kashmiris not being of Kashmiri ethnicity.
Grace Clark told the conference that only 2.9% of Pakistanis had access to higher education.
Azad Kashmir Day (Urdu: یوم تاسیس آزاد کشمیر) is celebrated in Azad Kashmir on 24 October each year. It commemorates the date of establishment of the state in 1947.Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly
Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly also known as AJK Legislative Assembly is a unicameral legislature of elected representatives of the Pakistan administered state of Azad Kashmir.
The assembly consists of 41 elected Members and 8 co-opted members of which 5 are woman, one member from Ulama community, while one is from amongst Jammu & Kashmir technocrats and other professionals, whereas one is from amongst Jammu and Kashmir nationals residing abroad.Azad Kashmir Regiment
The Azad Kashmir Regiment, also known as AK Regt, is one of the six Infantry Regiments of the Pakistan Army. As per the order of seniority, it is the Fourth regiment, but first to be raised after the Independence of country from the British Colonial rule of India. Regiment takes sheer pride in the fact that it is to date the only Regiment of Pak Army which was raised on the battlefield. This is why the Regiment is informally known by the adage; "Asli Nasli" meaning "The pure breed". Its Regimental Centre is located at Mansar camp in Attock District on the border of Punjab and KPK province. The Regiment has participated in all major and minor operations and wars fought by the army and displayed high standards of valour. Notable commanders of the regiment include including Lieutenant-General Haroon Aslam, ex commander of Pakistan Special Services Group who led the SSG operation (Operation Rah e Rast) in Swat in 2009 and Lieutenant General Hidayat ur Rehman, who commanded successful operations (operation Al Mizan and operation Zarb e Azab) in FATA from 2014 to 2016.Bagh, Azad Kashmir
Bagh City (Urdu: باغ ) is the chief town and district headquarters of Bagh District, in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. The town is situated on the confluence of two nullahs (streams), Malwani and Mahl (ماہلوانی اور ماہل)at the distance of 93 km from Muzaffarabad. City played a role in freedom of Azad Kashmir.Most popular man Hakeem Sain Javed live In Bagh Azad Kashmir Hamza kashmiri
The first fight between the Hindu Dogra Army and Muslim freedom protesters was started here. When some Muslims were protesting against the Hindu Maharaja, the army of the Maharaja fired on innocent Muslim protesters at Huda Bari (ہودا باڑی) at Bagh. Syed Khadim Hussain of village Hullay Sayyedan Bagh was martyred at Huda Bari and acknowledged as Shaheed e Awwal. After that incident, the local Muslims decided to fight against the Hindu Maharaja's forces. The next day, they planned a meeting at Neela Butt Mountain (نیلا بٹ پہاڑی) for the strategy of fighting against the Hindu Maharaja. This meeting was led by Sardar Abdul Qayyum, also called Mujahid e Awal (later when some part of Kashmir was free from Hindu Maharaja and Indian forces).Districts of Pakistan
The Districts of Pakistan (Urdu: اِضلاعِ پاكِستان), are the third-order administrative divisions of Pakistan, below provinces and divisions, but form the first-tier of local government. In total, there are 154 districts in Pakistan.Government of Azad Kashmir
The Government of Azad Kashmir is the state government which administers the territory of Azad Kashmir in Pakistan. The Azad Kashmir government consists of a President as the head of state, and the Prime Minister as the chief executive, supported by a Council of Ministers. The Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly is the state assembly.History of Azad Kashmir
The history of Azad Kashmir, a part of the Kashmir region administered by Pakistan, is related to the history of over all Kashmir region during the Dogra rule. Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the south and west respectively, Gilgit–Baltistan to the north and the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the east.Human rights abuses in Azad Kashmir
Human rights abuses in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, have been a recurrent issue, ranging from forced disappearances, torture to political repression and electoral fraud and suppression of freedom of speech. According to the human rights commission of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) carries out extensive surveillance operations on the press and pro independence groups, they have carried out arbitrary arrests in which people have been tortured and several have died. Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) is cited to indicate that dozens have disappeared after their arrests in Pakistan-held Kashmir. Those missing include Pakistani army personnel, those involved in spying for Pakistan, or those suspected of spying for India. According to the report "persons are arrested and disappeared if they refuse to join or try to leave the forces engaged in the “Jihad” inside Indian-held Kashmir or don't provide information to the intelligence agencies about the movements of people across the border control line. A significant number of cases point to the Inter-Services Intelligence’s involvement in these disappearances".Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch has said in 2006 "Although ‘azad’ means ‘free,’ the residents of Azad Kashmir are anything but free. The Pakistani authorities govern Azad Kashmir with strict controls on basic freedoms". Adams cited a law where those who opposed Pakistan's position on Kashmir were not allowed to contest regional elections, as an example of "political repression". The report also detailed it could not find evidence that Pakistan's security agencies were held accountable for incidents involving torture or mistreatment.Adams added that the problems were not "rampant" but they needed to be addressed, and that the severity of human rights issues in Indian-administered Kashmir were "much, much, much greater". Pakistan's Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan rejected the contents of the report and said that Azad Kashmir was free of human rights violations.
In 2011 Afzaal Suleria stated that the ISI kidnapped and killed a doctor which led to demonstrations against the ISI. While speaking to Dr Shabir Choudhry, Afzaal Suleria, President of the United Kashmir People's National Party- Azad Kashmir Chapter said: “Another innocent Azad Kashmiri has become a victim of the ISI. We people are constantly harassed and victimised because we oppose the Pakistani occupation of our motherland.” Other Kashmir National Party leaders, Abbas Butt, Dr Shabir Choudhry, Asim Mirza, Nawaz Majid, and others have strongly denounced this brutal killing and demanded those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.Kotli
Kotli (Urdu: کوٹلی) is the chief town of Kotli District, in Azad Kashmir, a self-governing region administered by Pakistan. Kotli is linked with Mirpur by two metalled roads, one via Rajdhani, (90 km) and the other via Charhoi. It is also directly linked with Rawalakot via Tarar Khel (82 km) and a double road which links Kotli with the rest of Pakistan via Sehnsa, another major town in Azad Kashmir. Kotli is roughly a three hours drive from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, at a distance of 117 km via Sehnsa.Mirpur, Pakistan
Mirpur (Urdu, Punjabi: مِيرپُور), more commonly known as New Mirpur City, is the capital of Mirpur district and is the largest city of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. The city itself has gone through a process of modernization, and most of the surrounding area remains agricultural. Mirpur is known for its grand buildings and large bungalows, primarily funded through its expatriate community, which comes mainly from Europe (especially the United Kingdom), Hong Kong, the Middle East, and North America. The main crop cultivated during summer is millet and pulses. However, other crops such as wheat, maize and vegetables are also grown. The produce of quality rice from the paddy fields of Khari Sharif between Upper Jhelum Canal and Jhelum river is very famous and popular for its aroma and taste. The production of electricity from Mangla Dam provides the energy needs for Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Punjab.
A significant portion of the population from the district migrated to the United Kingdom in the mid-to-late 1950s and in the early 1960s, mostly to West Yorkshire, East Midlands, West Midlands, Luton, Peterborough, Derby and East London. Mirpur is thus sometimes known as "Little England". Many British products are found, and many shops in the city accept the pound sterling.Mirpur District
Mirpur district (ضلع میر پور) is a district in Azad Kashmir. The district is named after the main city, Mirpur. The district of Mirpur has a population of 456,200 and covers an area of 1,010 km2 (390 sq mi). The district is mainly mountainous with some plains. Its hot, dry climate and other geographical conditions closely resemble those of Jhelum and Gujrat, the adjoining districts of Pakistan.Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (politician)
Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (April 10, 1915 – July 31, 2003), also known as Bani-e-Kashmir ("Father of Kashmir") and Ghazi-e-Millat ("Hero of the Nation"), was the founder and first President of Azad Kashmir. In British India of 1946, he won the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly election as a member of the Muslim Conference party and became a member of the Praja Sabha. In 1947, he instigated and organised the Poonch rebellion, with the help of Pakistan Army and the Muslim League, fighting against the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He belonged to Sudhan tribe, which traced its ancestry to the Sadozai Afghans, settled in the Poonch district of Kashmir region.The Pakistani tribal invasion of Kashmir and the subsequent accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India led to the Indian defence of the state. After fighting the Indian Army for 15 months, Pakistan and the Azad Kashmir army accepted a United Nations-mediated ceasefire. Khan and his army were able to capture substantial portions of the three western districts of Kashmir, which were renamed Azad Kashmir.
Khan was appointed the first President of Azad Kashmir in 1948. He represented Kashmir in different capacities at the United Nations from 1948 to 1971.Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad (مُظفَّرآباد) is the capital of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir.
The city is located in Muzaffarabad District near the confluence of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers. The district is bounded by the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the west, by the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in the east, and the Neelum District of Azad Kashmir in the north.Muzaffarabad District
Muzaffarabad district (مُظفّر آباد) of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan is located on the banks of the Jhelum and the Neelum rivers, and is very hilly. The district is bounded to Punjab in the west and to Kupwara and Baramulla districts of the Kashmir in the east. To the north is Neelum District; the fall on the northeast of the district and Bagh District forms the southern boundary. The total area of the district is 1,642 square kilometres. The city of Muzaffarabad serves as capital of Azad Kashmir.
It is part of Muzaffarabad Division.Pahari-Pothwari
The Indo-Aryan language spoken on the Pothohar Plateau in northern Punjab, in most of the Pakistani polity of Azad Kashmir, and in western areas of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are Pahari (English: ) and Pothwari (or Pothohari).
It is transitional between Hindko and Standard Punjabi.
Its speakers have a local linguistic, but not ethnic, identity that is separate from that of Punjabi and there has been a nascent, if not yet coherent, language movement. There have been efforts at cultivation as a literary language, although a local standard has not been established yet.It has been historically classified as a Punjabi dialect. Grierson in his early 20th-century Linguistic Survey of India assigned it to a so-called "Northern cluster" of Lahnda, but this classification, as well as the validity of the Lahnda grouping in this case, have been called into question.Poonch District, Pakistan
Poonch (Urdu: ضلع پونچھ ) is one of the 10 districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Poonch district borders Indian-administered Kashmir and is part of the greater dispute between India and Pakistan.
The capital of the district is Rawalakot.President of Azad Kashmir
The Pakistan administered state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir was officially established on 24 October 1947. The President is the constitutional head while Prime Minister is the chief executive of the state. The President is elected by Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly for term of 5 years.Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir
Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir is the Chief Executive of Azad Kashmir, the role is equivalent of Chief Minister's elsewhere in Pakistan, however due to the semi-autonomous nature of AJK the role is titled as Prime Minister hence symbolizing nominal independence. The prime minister heads the Council of Ministers, who are members of the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the PM too is elected by the AJK Legislative Assembly which is directly elected by the people.Rawalakot
Rawalakot (Kashmiri/Urdu: راولا کوٹ ) is a township in Dist. Poonch, Azad Kashmir. It is located in the Pir Panjal Range. Its other name is Pearl Valley because the abundance of almond blossoms in the valley in summer gives the impression of scattered pearls when viewed from a mountain.