Azad Kashmir

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Azad Kashmir
آزاد جموں و کشمیر
State of Pakistan
Azād Jāmmu o Kāshmir

Flag

Seal
Location of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Coordinates: 34°13′N 73°17′E / 34.22°N 73.28°E / 34.22; 73.28Coordinates: 34°13′N 73°17′E / 34.22°N 73.28°E / 34.22; 73.28
Country Pakistan
Established 1 July 1970
Capital Muzaffarabad
Largest city Mirpur
Government
 • Type Autonomous disputed territory of Pakistan
 • Body Legislative Assembly
 • President [1]
 • Prime Minister [2]
Area
 • Total 13,297 km2 (5,134 sq mi)
Population (2008; est.)
 • Total 4,567,982
 • Density 343.535/km2 (889.75/sq mi)
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
ISO 3166 code PK-AK
Main Language(s)
Assembly seats 33[3]
Districts 10

The State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, (Urdu: آزاد جممو اور کشمیر پاکستان) also called Azad Kashmir is part of the greater disputed region of Kashmir. It is under Pakistani administration, but is claimed by the government and the Republic of India as part of its state of Jammu and Kashmir, that is disputed by Islamabad. Together with Gilgit Baltistan it makes up Pakistan-administered Kashmir. In terms of land area it is bigger than Trinidad and Tobago but smaller than Brunei.

Gilgit Baltistan is to the north, the Pakistani claim of the disputed and occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir is to the east. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is west of it, and the Pakistani province of Punjab is south of it.

The capital city of Azad Kashmir is Muzaffarabad. Azad Jammu and Kashmir has an area of 5,134 mi² (13,297 km²). The inhabitants of this region are Kashmiri citizens of ethnic Punjabi origin and ethnic Kashmiri Muslims. About 4 million people live there.

Government and politics[change | edit source]

Azad Kashmir is a self-governing state under Pakistani control, but is not constitutionally part of Pakistan.[4][5] It has its own elected president, prime minister, legislature, high court, emblem and official flag. However, the highest body in the state is the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council. This council has six members from the government of Azad Kashmir (including the President and the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir) and five members from the government of Pakistan, including the President of Pakistan who is the chairman/chief executive of the council.[4][5] Azad Kashmir is administratively divided into three divisions which, in turn, are divided into ten districts.

The Government of Azad Kashmir and Jammu is based in Muzaffarabad, the interim state capital of the Azad Kashmir disputed territory.

Divisions[change | edit source]

The state is divided into three divisions.[6] The divisions are further divided into districts. There are 10 districts.

Division District Area (km²) Population (1998) Headquarters
Mirpur Bhimber 1,516 301,633 Bhimber
Kotli 1,862 563,094 Kotli
Mirpur 1,010 333,482 Mirpur
Muzaffarabad Muzaffarabad[7] 2,496 638,973 Muzaffarabad
Hattian ? ? Hattian Bala
Neelum[8] 3,621 106,778 Athmuqam
Poonch Poonch 855 411,035 Rawalakot[7]
Haveli 600 (est.) 150,000 (est.) Forward Kahuta[7]
Bagh 768 243,415 Bagh
Sudhnoti 569 334,091 Pallandari
AJK Total 10 districts 13,297 2,972,501 Muzaffarabad

Geography[change | edit source]

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.[4]

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.

References[change | edit source]