Azad Kashmir

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Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Urdu: آزاد جموں و کشمیر azaad jammu o- kashmir ; AJK) or Azad Kashmir for short (literally, "Free Kashmir"), is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-administered part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north, and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to the south. With its capital at Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir covers an area of 13,297 square kilometres (5,134 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about four million. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan both constitute an area known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir which is referred to in India as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.



After the Partition of India in 1947, the princely states were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan. However, Hari Singh, the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted Jammu and Kashmir to remain independent. In order to buy some time, he signed a stand-still agreement, which sidestepped the agreement that each princely state would join either India or Pakistan.[2] Later there was a revolution by Muslims in the western part of the kingdom[3] and the raiders from North-West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas feared that Hari Singh might join the Indian Union. In October 1947, supported by the Pakistani Army, they attacked Kashmir and tried to take over control of Kashmir. Initially Hari Singh tried to resist their progress but failed. Hari Singh then requested the Indian Union to help. India responded that it could not help unless Kashmir joined India. So on 26 October 1947, Kashmir accession papers were signed and Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar. Fighting ensued between the Indian Army and Pakistani Army, with control stabilizing more or less around what is now the "Line of Control".[4]

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