Azad Kashmir
Overview
 
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir (literally Free Kashmir) for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered
Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north west, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China to the north and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, to the east.A...

 part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Punjab Province
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 of Pakistan to the south.
Encyclopedia
Azad Jammu and Kashmir or Azad Kashmir (literally Free Kashmir) for short, is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered
Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north west, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China to the north and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, to the east.A...

 part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the...

 to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Punjab Province
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

 of Pakistan to the south. With its capital at Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

, Azad Kashmir covers an area of 13297 square kilometres (5,134 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about four million. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan both constitute an area known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north west, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China to the north and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, to the east.A...

.

History

After the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947, the princely states were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan. However, Hari Singh
Hari Singh
Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India.He was married four times...

, the maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted Jammu and Kashmir to remain independent. In order to buy some time, he signed a stand-still agreement, which sidestepped the agreement that each princely state would join either India or Pakistan. Later there was a revolution by Muslims in the western part of the kingdom and the raiders from North-West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas feared that Hari Singh might join the Indian Union. In October 1947, they attacked Kashmir and tried to take over control of Kashmir. Initially Hari Singh tried to resist their progress but failed. Hari Singh then requested the Indian Union to help. India responded that it could not help unless Kashmir acceded to India. On 26 October 1947, the Instrument of Accession
Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)
The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharajah Hari Singh, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, on 26 October 1947...

 of Kashmir was signed by Hari Singh and Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar. Pakistan intervened subsequently. Fighting ensued between the Indian Army and Pakistani Army, with control stabilizing more or less around what is now the "Line of Control
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

".

Later, India approached the United Nations to solve the dispute and resolutions were passed to hold a plebiscite with regard to Kashmir's future. However, this plebiscite has not been held on either side, since the legal requirement for the holding of a plebiscite was the withdrawal of the Indian and Pakistani armies from the parts of Kashmir that were under their respective control—a withdrawal that never did take place. 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:
  1. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) - the narrow southern part, 250 miles (402.3 km) long, with a width varying from 10 to 40 mi (16.1 to 64.4 km).
  2. Gilgit-Baltistan formerly called Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) - is the much larger area to the north of AJK, 72496 square kilometres (27,990.9 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.


An area of Kashmir that was once under Pakistani control is the Shaksgam tract
Trans-Karakoram Tract
The Trans-Karakoram Tract is an area of nearly along both sides of the Shaksgam River, is entirely administered by the People's Republic of China as a part of Kargilik County and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but claimed by Pakistan...

—a small region along the northeastern border of the Northern Areas that was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in 1963 and which now forms part of China's Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

.

In 1972, the then-current border between Pakistan and India, which held areas of Kashmir, was designated as the "Line of Control
Line of Control
The term Line of Control refers to the military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border...

". The Line of Control 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.

A devastating earthquake hit Azad Kashmir in 2005.

Azad Kashmir Day

Azad Kashmir Day is celebrated by Azad Jammu & Kashmir government on the day of its creation on 24 October 1947.

Government

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing state under Pakistani control but is not constitutionally part of Pakistan. It has its own elected president, prime minister, legislature, high court, and official flag. The government of Pakistan has not yet allowed the state to issue its own postage stamps, however, and Pakistani stamps are used in the state instead.
Azad Kashmir has it own Judiciary as well with Khawaja Shahad Ahmad as its present Chief Justice.

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 11 members, six from the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and five from the government of Pakistan. Its chairman/chief executive is the president of Pakistan. Other members of the council are the president and the prime minister of Azad Kashmir and a few other AJK ministers.

The state is administratively divided into three divisions which, in turn, are divided into ten districts.
Division District Area (km²) Population (1998) Headquarters
Mirpur Bhimber
Bhimber District
Bhimber is the southernmost of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir it borders Indian-administered Kashmir to the east. The district is located between Latitude: 32-48 to 33-34 and Longitude: 73.55 to 74-45, and has an area of 1516 km². The chief town is Bhimber.-History:The area is...

1,516 301,633 Bhimber
Bhimber
Bhimber is the chief town of Bhimber District, Azad Kashmir. The town is situated on the border between Azad Kashmir and Pakistan at a distance of about 50 km from Mirpur, about 48 km from Gujrat and about 166 km from Islamabad.-History:...

Kotli
Kotli District
Kotli is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Kotli the chief town of the district, was originally a minor town between Mirpur and Muzaffarabad, but has recently seen major growth.- Administration :...

1,862 563,094 Kotli
Kotli
Kotli is the chief town of Kotli District, in the Pakistani-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Kotli is linked with Mirpur by two metalled roads, one via Rajdhani, and the other via Charhoi...

Mirpur
Mirpur District
Mirpur District is a district in the disputed and divided state of [Jammu and Kashmir]. The district is named after the main city, Mirpur. The District of Mirpur has a population of 371,000 and covers an area of . The district is mainly mountainous with some plains...

1,010 333,482 Mirpur
Muzaffarabad Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad District
Muzaffarabad district of Azad Kashmir is located on the banks of the Jhelum and the Neelum rivers, and is very hilly. The district is bounded to Pakistan in the west and to Kupwara and Baramulla districts that comes under the Kashmir section which is part of the greater dispute between India and...

 
2,496 638,973 Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

Hattian
Hattian District
Hattian is one of the ten districts of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It was the part of the District of Muzaffarabad until 2009. Its district headquarter is located in the town of Hattian Bala. It consists of three tehsils Chikar, Leepa & Hattian Bala. This district has many Famous visiting points. It is...

? ? Hattian Bala
Neelum
Neelum District
Neelum District is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Until recently it was part of Muzaffarabad District. It is bound by the Gilgit to the North, with Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipore Districts of Indian-administered Kashmir in India to the South and Southeast,...

3,621 106,778 Athmuqam
Athmuqam
Athmuqam or Athmakam is a small city about 84 kilometers from Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. It is the headquarters of Neelum District. Its population is about 8,000....

Poonch Poonch 855 411,035 Rawalakot
Rawalakot
Rawalakot , is a city in Azad Kashmir, and is the capital of Poonch Division and Poonch District. It is in a saucer-shaped valley at an elevation of 1,615 metres ....

Haveli
Haveli District
Haveli District is one of the ten districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It was formerly a part of Bagh District, but it separated from Bagh in 2009 and become the ninth district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.The district headquarters of Haveli is Forward Kahuta...

600 (est.) 150,000 (est.) Forward Kahuta
Forward Kahuta
Forward Kahuta is a village situated in the Haveli District of Pakistani Azad Kashmir.Until recently it was part of Bagh District; it now serves as the administrative headquarters of Haveli District....

Bagh
Bagh District
Bagh District is one of the eight districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. The district, which had been part of Poonch District, was created in 1988...

768 243,415 Bagh
Sudhnati
Sudhnati District
-Administration:The district is part of the Vale of Kashmir, which is an area in dispute between India and Pakistan. The district is divided into three tehsils: Pallandri, Mang, and Trarkhal....

569 334,091 Pallandari
AJK Total 10 districts 13,297 2,972,501 Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...



There are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian Administered Kashmir in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Geography and climate

The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower area of the Himalayas
Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

, including Jamgarh Peak (15,531 feet [4,734 meters]). However, Hari Parbat
Hari Parbat
Hari Parbat is a hill overlooking Srinagar, the largest city and summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is the site of a Durrani fort, built in 1808. It has the famous Shakti Temple on the western Slope and Muslim shrines of Khwaja Makhdoom Sahib and Akhund Mullah Shah on the southern slope...

 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
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

 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
Jhelum River
Jehlum River or Jhelum River , ) is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District...

 and Leepa are common due to extreme rains and snow melting.

Ethnic groups

Azad Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. The majority of the population is culturally, linguistically, and ethnically related to the people of northern Punjab. The article Ethnic groups of Azad Kashmir
Ethnic groups of Azad Kashmir
The population of Azad Kashmir is composed of many communities and tribes. According to the 1998 Census of Pakistan, the total population of Azad Kashmir was 3,271,000....

 gives a breakdown of all the major tribes in the state. The principal languages spoken are Pahari
Pahari languages
The Pahari languages are a geographic group of Indic languages spoken in the lower ranges of the Himalayas, from Nepal in the east to the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in the west.-Classification:The Pahari languages fall into three groups:*Eastern, consisting...

, Gojri
Gojri
Gojri, also known as Gujari is a variety of Rajasthani spoken by the Gujjars of Northern-Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.Rajasthani, Marwari and Gujarati are evolved from Gujari. The language was known as Gujjar bhakha or Gurjar Apabhramsha lately. It was used as literary language as early as 12th...

, Dogri, Potohari
Pothohari language
Potwari , also known as Potohari ), is a rich north Indian sub-continent dialect spoken in the Pothohar Plateau around Rawalpindi, Kahuta, Gujar Khan, Jehlum, up to Gujrat in the south and Chakwal in the West, Hazara in the north, Azad Kashmir in the east and also by Sikhs from the Pothohar...

, Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

, Pashto and Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

.

A large number of residents of this area have relatives who live in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Mirpur in particular retains strong links with the UK.

Languages

Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 is the official language of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. However, due to the area's diverse cultural blend, many languages are spoken by different populations, including Pahari-Potwari, Hindko
Hindko language
Hindko , also Hindku, or Hinko, is the sixth main regional language of Pakistan. It forms a subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages spoken by Hindkowans in Pakistan and northern India, some Pashtun tribes in Pakistan, as well as by the Hindki people of Afghanistan...

, Gojri
Gojri
Gojri, also known as Gujari is a variety of Rajasthani spoken by the Gujjars of Northern-Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.Rajasthani, Marwari and Gujarati are evolved from Gujari. The language was known as Gujjar bhakha or Gurjar Apabhramsha lately. It was used as literary language as early as 12th...

, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

 and Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

.

Economy and resources

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
Mangla Dam
The Mangla Dam is located on the Jhelum River in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is the sixteenth largest dam in the world. It was built from 1961 to 1967 with funding from the World Bank. The project was designed and supervised by Binnie & Partners of London, and it was built...

 in Mirpur District
Mirpur District
Mirpur District is a district in the disputed and divided state of [Jammu and Kashmir]. The district is named after the main city, Mirpur. The District of Mirpur has a population of 371,000 and covers an area of . The district is mainly mountainous with some plains...

, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government began to receive royalties from the Pakistani government for electricity the dam provided to the nation. During the mid-2000s a multi-billion dollar reconstruction began in the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake
2005 Kashmir earthquake
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake was a major earthquake centered in Pakistan-administered Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir, near the city of Muzaffarabad, affecting Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It occurred at 08:52:37 Pakistan Standard Time on 8 October 2005...

.

Agriculture is a part of Azad Kashmir's economy; low-lying areas that have high populations grow crops like barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, mango
Mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

es, millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 (maize), and wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, and also raise cattle. In the more elevated areas that are less populated and are spread out, forestry, corn and livestock are the source of living.

There are some mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

 and marble resources in Azad Kashmir close to Mirpur and Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

; there are also some graphite deposits at Mohriwali. There are some reservoirs of low-grade coal, chalk
Chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

, bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

, and zircon
Zircon
Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4. A common empirical formula showing some of the range of substitution in zircon is 1–x4x–y...

. Local household industries produce carved wooden objects, textiles, and dhurrie carpets. There is also an art and craft industry that produces such cultural goods as: namdas, shawls, pashmina, pherans, Papier-mâché
Papier-mâché
Papier-mâché , alternatively, paper-mache, is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste....

, basketry copper, rugs, wood carving, silk and woolen clothing, patto, carpet, 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.

In addition to agriculture, textiles, 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; for household annual income, those people living in higher areas are more dependent on remittance than 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 delay in help reaching the most needy, and hundreds of people continued to live in tents long after the earthquake. A land-use plan for the city of Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad
Muzaffarabad is the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Pakistan. It is located in Muzaffarabad District on the banks of the Jhelum and Neelum rivers...

 was prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency
Japan International Cooperation Agency
The Japan International Cooperation Agency is an independent governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance for the government of Japan...

.

Remittance by British Pakistanis forms an important part of the Kashmiri economy.

Education

The literacy rate in Azad Kashmir was 62% in 2004, higher than in any other region in Pakistan. However, only 2.2% were graduates, compared to the average of 2.9% for the whole of Pakistan.

Notable Kashmiris

  • Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
    Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
    Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh was a Sufi saint and a Punjabi/Pahari poet; he belonged to the Qadiri tariqah. He is especially renowned as the author of a book of poetry called Saiful Malūk. He was born in a village called Khari Sharif, situated near Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.-Lineage:He belonged to the Gujjar...

    , Sufi saint
  • Baba-e-Poonch Khansahib Col Khan Muhammad Khan, MLA for Tehsil Bagh and Sudhonoti, 1934–1946
  • Aziz Khan, former chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Pakistan
  • Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan
    Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan
    Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan was twice a former Prime Minister and President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He has been the longest serving Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir....

    , former Prime Minister and President of Azad Kashmir
  • Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan
    Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan
    Major General Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, is a career soldier and politician who served as the President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir 25 August 2001 to 23 August 2006...

    , vice-chief of the General Staff
  • Baba Shadi Shaheed
    Baba Shadi Shaheed
    Hazrat Sheikh Baba Shadi Shaheed Rehmat Ullah Alae was a Sufi Saint. He is thought to be the first Chib Rajput convert to Islam from the hand of Hazrat Pir Sufi Jaffar also known as Meera Pak from Bharot Sharif. During the reign of Ibrahim Lodi. He was a famed wise man who was requested to...

    , Sufi saint
  • Barrister Sultan Mahmood
    Barrister Sultan Mahmood
    Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry hails from a political family of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry is the son of Kashmiri leader Chaudhry Noor Hussain and belongs to a Thathaal Jat family...

    , former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir
  • Lord Nazir Ahmed
    Nazir Ahmed, Baron Ahmed
    Nazir Ahmed, Baron Ahmed is a member of the House of Lords, having become the United Kingdom's first Muslim life peer in 1998. Many of his political activities relate to the Islamic community both in the UK and abroad, and he has often attracted controversy...

    , member of the UK House of Lords
    House of Lords
    The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

  • Karam Hussain
    Karam Hussain
    Karam Hussain is the mayor of the meteropolitan borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England.Hussain moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 15 and started working locally. In the mid 1980s he joined the Liberal Party and campaigned actively for a number of years...

    , mayor of Kirklees
    Kirklees
    The Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 401,000 and includes the settlements of Batley, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Kirkburton, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield and Slaithwaite...

    , UK
  • Khalid Mahmood
    Khalid Mahmood
    Khalid Mahmood is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Perry Barr since 2001.-Political career:...

    , member of the UK parliament
  • Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Karelvi
    Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Karelvi
    Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Karelvi was born into a Domaal Tribe in Karela Majhan Mendhar Poonch, son of Sardar Feroze Khan Domaal. He joined the Poonch police service as a sergeant but resigned, and began to play an active political role under the Muslim Conference of Jammu and Kashmir...

    , Muslim MLA during Dogra rule
  • Kabir Ali
    Kabir Ali
    Kabir Ali is an English cricketer who currently plays for Hampshire in the English County Championship. A right-arm seam bowler and useful lower-order right-handed batsman, outside cricket he works as a model...

    , British-Kashmiri cricket player
  • Saif Ali Janjua
    Saif Ali Janjua
    Naik Saif Ali Janjua Pakistan Army Azad Kashmir Regiment was a platoon commander during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He received the Hilal-e-Kashmir from the government of Azad Kashmir, which is equal to Nishan-e-Haider, the highest military award given by Pakistan. He fought in the Kashmir...

    , Hilal-e-Kashmir awardee

See also

  • Kashmir
    Kashmir
    Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

  • Kashmir conflict
    Kashmir conflict
    The Kashmir conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the northwesternmost region of South Asia....



External links

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