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Facts About PoK You Probably Didn’t Know Before

Although 'Azad Kashmir' is of no economic significance to either Pakistan or India, the region is rather a matter of pride

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PoK is one of the most controversial regions in the world. Wikimedia Commons
PoK is one of the most controversial regions in the world. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • PoK or Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is a controversial land
  • The region is the reason for tension between India and Pakistan
  • Pakistan Administered Kashmir is the hub for terrorist activities and is controlled by Pakistan entirely

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK is the land of much controversy. The region which is also known as Azad Kashmir in Pakistan has been a matter of controversy between India and Pakistan since 1947.

Pakistan Administered Kashmir is a controversial region for both India and Pakistan. Wikimedia Commons
Pakistan Administered Kashmir is a controversial region for both India and Pakistan. Wikimedia Commons

United Nations and other international organizations refer to PoK as ‘Pakistan Administered Kashmir.’ This region shares its border with China and Afghanistan and as mentioned above is a very controversial region of crucial importance to both the disputing countries.

Here are few facts about PoK you may not have known before:

  • Even before independence, PoK was never ruled by the Britishers directly. It was under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh, who wanted to keep Jammu and Kashmir as an independent state when given the choice to choose between India and Pakistan.
  • PoK covers an area of 13,297 square kilometres which is approximate, 5,134 sq. mi. The capital is located at Muzaffarabad.
  • ‘Azad Kashmir’ has a population of around 4.6 million people.
  • 26th October is celebrated as the Accession Day. On this day, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession to India in the year 1947.

    PoK was supposed to be a free, independent state. Wikimedia Commons
    PoK was supposed to be a free, independent state. Wikimedia Commons
  • However, Kashmiri separatists celebrate Accession Day as ‘Black Day.’
  • The Pakistan Occupied Kashmir claims to be having its own self-governing legislative assembly, however, it is no hidden fact that it is controlled by Pakistan only behind the scenes.
  • In PoK, the President is the head of the state, and the Prime Minister is the chief executive, supported by the Council of Ministers. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir also has its own high court and supreme court.

Also Read: Pakistan, China play catch and throw with POK

  • PoK is famous for the terrorist activity in its region. Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the biggest terrorist organisations in the world has several camps in the region.
  • There is no freedom of expression for media in PoK. All media is controlled by Pakistan, including its only radio channel, Azad Kashmir Radio.

    Majority of Azad Kashmir's population earns their livelihood by the means of agriculture. Wikimedia Commons
    Majority of Azad Kashmir’s population earns their livelihood by the means of agriculture. Wikimedia Commons
  • 85% of the population is engaged in agricultural activities. They cultivate wheat, maize, mushroom, honey, apples, walnuts, etc., which are the main source of income for them.
  • Although ‘Azad Kashmir’ is of no economic significance to either Pakistan or India, the region is rather a matter of pride for which both the countries keep on fighting.

Next Story

India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)