Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)
Why in news?
- Indian government has decided to begin weather forecasts for regions under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) — Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad and Mirpur.
- After DD and AIR started airing weather forecasts from PoK regions, In return Radio Pakistan also featured updates from Srinagar, Pulwama and Ladakh.
- The ‘weather war’ — a diplomatic move by India — started after Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued notices to the advocate general of Gilgit-Baltistan in late April, directing them to amend the Gilgit-Baltistan Order-2018 and establish a caretaker government there.
About Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is an area of 13,297 sq km, which was under the control of the Pakistani forces when the ceasefire line came into effect on January 1, 1949.
- That was after a 14-month period of hostilities between India and Pakistan, which began with an invasion of Kashmir by Pashtun tribesmen, and later its Army, to seize Kashmir.
- In 1963, through an agreement, Pakistan ceded to China over 5,000 sq km of J&K land under its control, in the Shaksgam area, in northern Kashmir, beyond the Karakoram.
Pok Divided Into Two Parts
- Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)
- Gilgit-Baltistan (referred to as the ‘Northern Areas’ till August 2009).
what is Gilgit Baltistan?
- This is a picturesque, hilly region to the north of PoK and east of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- The British sold it, along with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, to the Dogra ruler of Jammu, Gulab Singh, after defeating the Sikh army in 1846.
- However they retained controlled over the area through a lease extracted from the Maharaja.This lease was last renewed in 1935.
- In 1947, a British army officer of the rank of Colonel imprisoned Maharaja Hari Singh’s governor in the region, and handed over the area for accession to Pakistan.
- Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is spread over 72,871 sq km, and is five-and-a-half times the size of PoK. But it is sparsely populated, with just under 20 lakh people.
- GB is divided into three administrative divisions and 10 districts.
What is the root of the fight between India and Pakistan?
- The fact that PoK is an integral part of India has been our consistent policy ever since 1947.
- In 1947, Pakistan’s Pashtun tribes attacked Jammu and Kashmir.
- So to tackle this critical situation the Ruler of that time Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir sought military assistance from the Indian government and the then Indian Governor General Mountbatten signed an agreement on 26 October 1947 in which three subjects Defense, Foreign Affairs and Communications were handed over to India.
- Except these subjects Jammu and Kashmir was free to all its decisions.
- On the basis of this accession of treaty, the Government of India claims that India has the full right to interfere in the matters related to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan on the other hand doesn’t agree with India.
- The legality of transfer of territory of J and K through the instrument of accession to India is unquestionable.
- Unanimous resolution of the Parliament talks about whole of J & K been a integral part of India.
- Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir is based on the declaration of 1993. As per this declaration, Jammu & Kashmir was among those 5 states in which rule of Government of Pakistan was supposed to be established. But India never accepted this claim of Pakistan.
- India has also made clear to the world that it is the internal matter of India.
Importance of POK
- Because of its location, PoK is of immense strategic importance. It shares borders with several countries – the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province provinces (now called Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) in Pakistan to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan in the north-west, Xinjiang province of the People’s Republic of China to the north and India’s Jammu and Kashmir to the east.
Challenges for India in PoK region
- Terrorist infiltration through the region is high.
- Pakistan has changed the demography of PoK over a period of time.
- It has settled ex- servicemen, Punjabi’s and Pathans so the original colours of PoK has changed.
- Gilgit Baltistan region is easy as compared to other.
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is a part of the original Kashmir, whose borders touch to Pakistan area of Punjab, Northwest, Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, Xinjiang region of China and east of Indian Kashmir.
- If Gilgit-Baltistan is removed, the area of Azad Kashmir is spread over 13,300 square kilometers (about 3 times of Indian Kashmir) and its population is about 52 lacs.
- A part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Hunza-Gilgit, the Shaksgam Valley, region of Raksam and Baltistan was handed over to China by Pakistan in 1963. This area is called a ceded area or Trans-Karakoram Tract.
- Azad Kashmir’s capital is Muzaffarabad and it has 10 districts, 33 Tehsils, and 182 federal councils.
- In the southern part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, there are 8 districts: Mirpur, Bhimbar, Kotli, Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Neelam, Rawalakot and Sudhanoti.
- People of POK mainly cultivate and the main source of income are; maize, wheat, forestry, and livestock income.
- Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK) also has its own Supreme Court and High Court.
- In this area there are low-grade coal reserves, chalk reserves, bauxite deposits are found. Making of inscribed wooden items, textiles and carpets are the main products of industries located in these areas.
- The agricultural products in this area include mushrooms, honey, walnuts, apples, cherries, medicinal herbs and plants, resin, maple, and burning wood.
- There is a shortage of schools and colleges in this region, but fortunately, this region has 72% literacy rate.
- Languages like Pashto,Urdu, Kashmiri and Punjabi are spoken prominently here.
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