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Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), commonly referred to as Azad Kashmir, is a self-governing administrative region in Pakistan. It is located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, bordered by the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to the east, the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the country of China to the north.

Here are some key points about Azad Kashmir:

  1. Status: Azad Jammu and Kashmir is often referred to as “Azad,” which means “free” in Urdu. It has its own president and prime minister, but it is not a fully sovereign state. Instead, it operates with a significant degree of autonomy within the framework of Pakistan.
  2. Capital: The capital of Azad Kashmir is Muzaffarabad.
  3. Formation: Azad Kashmir was created in 1947 when the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had to decide whether to accede to India or Pakistan following the partition of British India. The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir chose to accede to India, leading to a conflict between India and Pakistan. The territory that is now Azad Kashmir came under Pakistani control, and a ceasefire line, known as the Line of Control (LoC), was established.
  4. Line of Control (LoC): The Line of Control serves as the de facto border between the parts of Kashmir administered by India and Pakistan. It is heavily militarized, and there have been intermittent conflicts and tensions over the region.
  5. Government: Azad Kashmir has its own constitution and a locally elected government. The President of Azad Kashmir is the ceremonial head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.
  6. Economy: The economy of Azad Kashmir is primarily agrarian, with agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the majority of the population. The region also has potential for tourism due to its scenic beauty.
  7. Conflict: The Kashmir region, including Azad Kashmir, has been a source of conflict between India and Pakistan for decades. Both countries claim the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the issue remains a significant point of contention in their bilateral relations.

It’s important to note that the situation in Kashmir is complex and sensitive, and views on the status and future of the region can vary widely. The political and territorial status of Azad Kashmir is a subject of ongoing international and regional discussion.

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