History of Azad Kashmir

Shown in green is the Kashmiri region of Pakistan. The dark-brown region is a part of Indian-administered Kashmir while the Aksai Chin was annexed by China, the Chinese control being tacitly accepted by Pakistan. Area in the North Kashmir region has been ceded by Pakistan to China.

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.


  • Early history 1
  • Recent history 2
  • U.N.intervention 3
  • Constitutional status 4
  • Azad Kashmir Day 5
  • See also 6
    • Kashmir Region 6.1
    • Conflict related 6.2
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8

Early history

During the partition of British India into the Dominion of Pakistan and the Republic of India, the Princely states had the options of joining either India or Pakistan. The Maharaja of Kashmir wanted to be independent [1] but the incursion of tribesmen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made him appeal for help from India.[2] The tribesmen were sent in but British General Douglas Gracey of Pakistani army refused to follow orders from Muhammad Ali Jinnah to attack Kashmir.[2] The tribesmen were equipped with light tanks and were almost at the doorsteps of Srinagar before Indian army stopped them.[2] "The raiders advanced into Baramulla, the biggest commercial centre of the region with a population then of 11,000, until they were only an hour away from Srinagar." Unable to prevent the advance the Maharaja, on October 24, 1947, appealed for military assistance from the Government of India. The Indian Government argued that in order for assistance the state would have to accede to India.

According to the Indian embassy:

Pakistan disputes this and according to the BBC

Recent history

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. He signed a stand-still agreement with Pakistan. He delayed his decision in an effort to remain independent.[4][5]

In the spring of 1947, an uprising against the Maharaja had broken out in Poonch, an area bordering the Rawalpindi division of the 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, full of recently demobolised soldiers from the Second World War, rebelled against the Maharaja's forces and gained control of almost the entire district. Following this victory, the pro-Pakistan chieftains of the western Jammu districts of Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur proclaimed a provisional Azad Jammu and Kahmir government in Rawalpindi on 3 October, 1947.[6]

On 21 October, several thousand Pashtun tribesmen from the North-West Frontier Province poured into Jammu and Kashmir in order 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 just twenty miles northwest of the State's capital Srinagar. On 24 October, the Maharaja requested the military assistance of 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 defense, external affairs and communications to the Government of India. Indian troops were immediately airlifted into Srinagar.[7] Pakistan intervened subsequently.[5] Fighting ensued between the Indian and Pakistani armies, with the two areas of control stabilized, more or less, around what is now known as the "Line of Control".[8]

Later, India approached the United Nations, asking it to solve the dispute, and resolutions were passed in favor 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.[9] from the parts of Kashmir under their respective control – a withdrawal that never took place.[10] In 1949, a cease-fire line separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir was formally put into effect.

Following the 1949 cease-fire agreement, the government of Pakistan divided the northern and western parts of Kashmir, which it held, into the following two separately-controlled political entities; together, both these territories form the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region:

  1. 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 64 km).
  2. Gilgit–Baltistan, formerly called the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) - is the much larger area to the north of AJK, 72,496 square kilometres (27,991 sq mi); it was directly administered by Pakistan as a de facto dependent territory, i.e., a non-self-governing territory. However it was officially granted full autonomy on August 29, 2009.[11]

An area of Kashmir that was once under Pakistani control is the Shaksgam tract—a small region along the northeastern border of the Northern Areas that was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to the People's Republic of China in 1963 and which now forms part of China's Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. The part of Kashmir administered by India meanwhile is Jammu and Kashmir.

In 1972, the then-current border between Pakistan and India, which held areas of Kashmir, was designated as the "Line of Control". The Line of Control has remained unchanged[12] since the 1972 Simla Agreement, which bound the two countries "to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations." Some 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.

A devastating earthquake hit Azad Kashmir in 2005.


Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India asked the UN to intervene. The United Nations passed the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 asking Pakistan and India to withdraw all its forces from Kashmir. This was to be followed by a plebscite to determine the wishes of people of the entire state of Kashmir.[13] However the required withdrawal never happened. The area which remained under the control of Pakistan is called Azad Kashmir

Constitutional status

Elections were held to the 49-seat Legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir on July 11 to the eighth Legislative Assembly since 1970 (seventh since 1974 when Pakistan granted the region a parliamentary system with adult franchise).Azad Kashmir is categorised as an autonomous region. But critics claim titles such as Prime Minister and President for the region's elected political leadership are misleading[14] as candidates are required to sign an affidavit of allegiance to Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.[14]

On September 14, 1994, the Supreme Court of Azad Kashmir ruled that "the Northern areas are a part of J&K State but are not a part of Azad J&K as defined in the Interim Constitution Act 1974".[15] The Northern Areas presently has no officially named status in Pakistan. Pakistan does not consider this area as a "province" of Pakistan or as a part of "Azad Kashmirr". They are ruled directly from Islamabad through a Northern Areas Council. A chief executive (usually a retired Pakistani army officer), appointed by Islamabad is the local administrative head.[16] This area presently has no representatives in both the Azad Kashmir Assembly and in Pakistan’s parliament. Northern Areas’ Legislative Council was created with a membership of 29 (later increased to 32), but its powers are restricted. On May 11, 2007 the NA’s chief executive, who also happens to be the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas Affairs, declared that the region had a right to be represented in the National Assembly. Others demand that it should be given the status of a province. The changes made in 1994 in the local bodies’ ordinance gave more representation to women and delegated some administrative and financial powers to the local administration. However, the people of the region do not enjoy fundamental rights, because it continues to be governed by the Legal Framework Order of 1994.[17]

Azad Kashmir Day

Azad Kashmir Day celebrates the 61st day of the Azad Jammu Kashmir government, created on 24 October 1947.

See also

Kashmir Region

Conflict related


  1. ^ "Kashmir (region, Indian subcontinent)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-11-26. 
  2. ^ a b c Death in the Vale, TIME, 1947-11-10
  3. ^ "Kashmir: The origins of the dispute".  
  4. ^ "The J&K conflict: A Chronological Introduction". India Together. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  5. ^ a b Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. "Kashmir (region, Indian subcontinent) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  6. ^ Bose 2003, pp. 32-33.
  7. ^ Bose 2003, pp. 35-36.
  8. ^ Prem Shankar Jha. "Grasping the Nettle". South Asian Journal. 
  9. ^ "UN resolution 47". Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "UNCIP Resolution of August 13, 1948 (S/1100) – Embassy of India, Washington, D.C.". 
  11. ^ Miller, David (2009-08-30). "Pakistan grants full autonomy to northern areas | Pakistan Daily". Daily.pk. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  12. ^ "UNMOGIP: United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan". 
  13. ^ A brief history of Kashmir conflict, The Daily Telegraph, 2004-11-10
  14. ^ a b "What the elections in PoK mean". The Hindu (Chennai, India). August 15, 2006. 
  15. ^ Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Changing the Discourse. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses New Delhi. May 2011. 
  16. ^ Gupta, K.R. (2003). India-Pakistan Relations with Special Reference to Kashmir. Atlantic Publishers And Distributors. p. 69. 
  17. ^ "DAWN - Editorial; October 23, 2007". Dawn Editorial. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 

Further reading

  • Mathur, Shubh (2008). "Srinagar-Muzaffarabad-New York: A Kashmiri Family's Exile". In Roy, Anjali Gera; Bhatia, Nandi. Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement and Resettlement. Pearson Education India.  
  • Schoefield, Victoria (2003) [First published in 2000]. Kashmir in Conflict. London and New York: I. B. Taurus & Co.  
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