When was Azad Kashmir founded?

History of Azad Kashmir - History of Azad Kashmir

A map of the disputed Kashmir region with the two Pakistan-administered areas in green

The History of Azad Kashmir , part of the Pakistani-administered Kashmir region, is related to the history of the Kashmir region during the Dogra rule. Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the south and west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north and the territory of the Indian Union of Jammu and Kashmir to the east.

The modern story

The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was established in 1846 after the First Anglo-Sikh War. Previously, Jammu was a tributary of the Sikh Empire in Lahore. Gulab Singh, formerly a servant of the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who distinguished himself in various campaigns, was appointed Raja of Jammu in 1822. The valley of Kashmir was also part of the Sikh Empire, which was ruled by a separate governor. Raja Gulab Singh fought and conquered successively Rajouri (1821), Kishtwar (1821) and through his general Zorawar Singh, the Suru Valley and Kargil (1835), Ladakh (1834-1840) and Baltistan (1840). He became a wealthy and influential nobleman at the Sikh court.

During the first Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-1846, Gulab Singh sided with the British, which led to a Sikh defeat. In the subsequent Lahore Treaty, the Sikhs were forced to cede Kashmir and Hazara to the British in lieu of their compensation and to recognize Gulab Singh as an independent Mahraja. A week later, in the Treaty of Amritsar, Gulab Singh paid the British the compensation owed by the Sikhs and acquired Kashmir in return. So Gulab Singh became the Maharaja of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and founded a new Dogra dynasty. The Amritsar Treaty continues to be widely viewed as a "deed of sale" by the Kashmiris.

In 1856 Gulab Singh abdicated in favor of his son Ranbir Singh, who became Maharaja. During the Indian mutiny of 1857, Ranbir Singh came to the aid of the British again and was duly rewarded. During the reign of Ranbir Singh, Kashmir was subjected to an oppressive despotism, as recognized by British observers. In 1860, Ranbir Singh annexed Gilgit. Hunza and Nagar soon became tributaries. Ranbir Singh's successors were Pratap Singh (1885–1925) and Hari Singh (1925–1952), who was the ruler at the time of Indian independence.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 was extremely diverse. The valley of Kashmir, the most populous region, was a historically powerful kingdom that had fought against the Arabs and the Afghan-Turkish invaders and remained independent until the time of Akbar. 97% were Muslim with 3% religious minorities, mainly the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits community. The eastern districts of the Jammu Division had a Hindu majority population culturally aligned with the mountainous states of Himachal Pradesh. Its western districts such as Poonch, Kotli and Mirpur had a Muslim majority culturally aligned on the Punjab western plains. Ladakh, a large mountain region, had a predominantly Buddhist population that was culturally oriented towards Tibet. The northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan were almost exclusively Muslim with Buddhist minorities who were culturally oriented towards the Pakhtun and Central Asia regions.

Poonch was a jagir given by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gulab Singh's brother Raja Dhian Singh. After his death, the Jagir was recaptured from Lahore and passed on to Gulab Singh in the Treaties of Lahore and Amritsar. However, Dhian Singh's son Jawahar Singh made a claim on Poonch, which was granted on condition that he should consult Gulab Singh on "all important matters". He was also supposed to present Gulab Singh with a horse that was adorned with gold every year. After the death of Raja Jawahar Singh, Hari Singh expropriated his young son, who was in control of Poonch, and set about integrating him into his state. The move was unpopular in Poonch. The Mahajara government introduced a series of new taxes and Dogra troops were sent to enforce the collection.

The Sudhan tribes Poonch and Mirpur were bellicose. They comprised the only Muslim troops in Maharaja Hari Singh's army. Over 60,000 of them fought in the British Army during World War II. After demobilization, they had to go back to farming because the maharajah refused to accept them into his own army and they faced the maharaja's new tax system. In the spring of 1947 they carried out a tax-free campaign in which the Maharaja's government called for severe reprisals. In July the Maharajah ordered that all Muslims hand over their weapons to the authorities. As the violence of the partition spread, the same weapons were reportedly distributed to non-Muslims. These tensions led to a riot in Poonch.

Establishment of Pakistan managed Jammu & Kashmir

At the time of the partition of India in 1947, the British gave up their sovereignty over the princely states, which remained the option of joining India or Pakistan or remaining independent. Hari Singh, the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir, chose to remain independent and offered to sign standstill agreements with both rulers.

In the spring of 1947 an uprising against the Maharaja broke out in Poonch, an area of ​​the adjoining Rawalpindi department of western Punjab. Maharaja's government reportedly started imposing punitive taxes on the peasantry, sparking a local uprising, and the government resorted to brutal repression. The population of the region, full of recently demobilized soldiers from World War II, rebelled against the Maharajah's forces and took control of almost the entire district. After this victory, the pro-Pakistani chiefs of the western Jammu districts of Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur proclaimed a provisional government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on October 24, 1947 in Pallandri.

On October 21, several thousand Pashtun tribesmen poured into Jammu and Kashmir from the Northwest Frontier Province to liberate it from the rule of the maharajah. They were led by experienced military leaders and equipped with modern weapons. The disintegrating forces of the Maharajah could not withstand the onslaught. The attackers captured the cities of Muzaffarabad and Baramulla, the latter only twenty miles northwest of the state capital, Srinagar. On October 24th, the Maharajah asked for military assistance from India, who replied that if he did not join India, it could not help him. Accordingly, Maharaja Hari Singh signed a charter of accession on October 26, 1947, which gave the Indian government control of defense, foreign policy and communications. Indian troops were flown to Srinagar immediately. Pakistan then intervened. Fighting broke out between the Indian and Pakistani armies, with the two control areas more or less stabilizing around the current "control line".

India later turned to the United Nations asking it to resolve the dispute and resolutions were passed in favor of a referendum on the future of Kashmir. However, such a referendum was never held on either side as there was a condition that 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 an armistice line was officially put into effect between the Indian-Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir.

After the ceasefire agreement of 1949, the Pakistani government divided the northern and western parts of Kashmir it owned into the following two separately controlled political entities. Both areas together form the Kashmir region administered by Pakistan:

  1. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) - the narrow southern part, 400 km long and between 16 and 64 km wide.
  2. Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as FANA (Federally Administered Northern Areas), is the much larger area north of AJK (72,496 square kilometers). It was called directly by Pakistan de facto dependent area managed, ie as a non-self-governing area. However, on August 29, 2009, he was officially granted full autonomy.

An area in Kashmir that was once under Pakistani control is the Shaksgam Tract - a small region along the north-eastern border of the northern territories that was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to the People's Republic of China in 1963 and is now part of the Uygur Autonomous Region in China from Xinjiang. The Indian-administered part of Kashmir is currently split between Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

In 1972, the then border between Pakistan and India, on which areas were located in Kashmir, was designated as a "control line". The line of control has remained unchanged since the 1972 Simla Agreement, which obliged the two countries to "peacefully resolve their differences through bilateral negotiations". Some claim that, given this pact, the only solution to the problem is mutual negotiations between the two countries without the involvement of third parties like the United Nations.

A devastating earthquake struck Azad Kashmir in 2005.

United Nations intervention

The then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called on the United Nations to intervene. The United Nations passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 47, and later United Nations Security Council Resolution 80, calling on both Pakistan and India to withdraw all of their forces from Kashmir at the same time. This was followed by a referendum to determine the desires of the people across the state of Kashmir. However, the required withdrawal never occurred. The area that remained under Pakistan's control is called Azad Kashmir. India took over two thirds of Kashmir without withdrawing its forces. Pakistan, which India cites, has not withdrawn its armed forces, nor has its armed forces withdrawn from Kashmir, and controls a third of Kashmir.

Constitutional status

Elections were held on July 11 for the 49-seat Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly to the eighth legislative assembly since 1970 (seventh since 1974 when Pakistan granted the region a parliamentary system with adult suffrage). Azad Kashmir is classified as an autonomous region, but critics claim titles such as prime minister and president of the region's elected leadership are misleading as candidates are required to sign an affidavit to Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.

On September 14, 1994, the Azad Kashmir Supreme Court ruled that "the northern territories are part of J&K state but not part of Azad J&K for the purposes of the Interim Constitution Act of 1974". The northern areas do not currently have an officially designated status in Pakistan. Pakistan does not consider this area to be a "province" of Pakistan or part of "Azad Kashmir". They are governed directly from Islamabad through a Northern Areas Council. A general manager appointed by Islamabad (usually a retired Pakistani army officer) is the local administrative chief. There are currently no representatives in this area in either the Azad Kashmir Assembly or the Pakistani Parliament. The Northern Territories Legislative Council was set up to have 29 members (later increased to 32), but its powers are limited. On May 11, 2007, the NA Director General, who also happens to be Minister for Kashmir and Northern Territories, declared that the region had the right to be represented in the National Assembly. Others are demanding that it be given provincial status. The 1994 changes to the Local Authorities Ordinance gave greater representation to women and delegated some administrative and financial powers to local government. However, people in the region do not enjoy fundamental rights as they are still subject to the 1994 legal framework regulation.

Azad Kashmir Day

Azad Kashmir Day celebrates the 1st day of the Azad Jammu Kashmir government, which was established on October 24, 1947.

See also

Kashmir region

Conflict related


  • Bose, Sumantra (2003), Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Roads to Peace , Harvard University Press, ISBN
  • Rai, Mridu (2004), Hindu rulers, Muslim subjects: Islam, rights and the history of Kashmir , C. Hurst & Co, ISBN
  • Schofield, Victoria (2003) [first published 2000], Kashmir in Conflict , London and New York: IB Taurus & Co, ISBN
  • Snedden, Christopher (2013), Kashmir: the unwritten story , HarperCollins India, ISBN

further reading

  • Mathur, Shubh (2008), "Srinagar-Muzaffarabad-New York: The Exile of a Kashmiri Family", in Roy, Anjali Gera; Bhatia, Nandi (Ed.), Partitioned Lives: Tales of Home, Displacement and Resettlement , Pearson Education India, ISBN