Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Azad Kashmir

Azad Kashmir, a name which means "Free Kashmir" in Urdu, is claimed to be an independent state established by Pakistan in a part of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir that is occupied by Pakistan. It is the Pakistani name for the region that India calls "Pakistani occupied Kashmir"

Pakistan divided the area under its occupation into three parts:

  1. The Islamic Republic of Azad Jammu & Kashmir,
  2. The Northern Areas, which are administered as a de facto 'Union Territory' and as an integral part of Pakistan, and
  3. The Trans-Karakorum, which it gifted to China PRC in 1961.

Ostensibly autonomous, the Islamic Republic of Azad Jammu & Kashmir is administered directly by a Secretary to the Pakistan Government - the Secretary for Azad Jammu & Kashmir - while it has a nominally independent setup, with President, Prime Minister, legislature, etc.


Although styled Azad Kashmir, the Islamic Republic of Azad Jammu & Kashmir is predominantly populated by the Hindko nationality, speaking the Hindko language.

The nomadic, herder ethnic group of the Gurjars form the largest minority. The Gurjars largely inhabit the upper hills and slopes.

Azad Kashmir is predominantly Muslim. Both the Hindko and the Gurjars are Muslims.

Along the line of control with India, Pakistan runs several terrorist camps for recruiting and training muslim youth to wage Jehad (Muslim Holy war)against neighbouring India.