Lets know facts about Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is that part of the Jammu and Kashmir state of India which was invaded by the Pakistan. The POK is officially referred to as ‘Azad Kashmir’ in Pakistan. This part of Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two neighboring countries (India and Pakistan) since 1947. The Modi government in India has renamed the place as Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The 13,297 square kilometers region which has an estimated population of about four million has added fuel to the burning enmity between India and Pakistan.
India never gave up its claim on this region although Pakistan controls the administration. Let us have a look at 17 lesser known facts about Pakistan Occupied Kashmir which has kept the fire burning since 1947.
1. Danger of Nuclear War
Since both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, there are chances of nuclear war breaking out between the two nations over the POK conflict. In such milieu everyone is going to be a loser. The disturbing stalemate situation hence continues with no visible sign of an end.
Though U.N had ordered ceasefire between India and Pakistan in 1948, the plebiscite demanded by the U.N. could not move forward because they left many issues unresolved. It only increased the friction between India and Pakistan.
4. Tank Battle
The five month war (April 1965- September 1965) between India and Pakistan in 1965 witnessed the largest tank battle to place since the World War II.
5. Warring Zone
Except for the Indo-Pak war in 1971; all the other disputes between India and Pakistan are either directly or indirectly related to the POK issue.
7. Political suicide
Neither the Pakistani nor Indian Government dare go soft on the Kashmir dispute, because that would mean a political suicide for the party. Though the territory has no economical value for either country, it has now become the symbol of national identities for both the countries.
8. Wrong decision by Nehru
Many influential people have been critical about Nehru’s approaching the UN over the Kashmir issue and consider it the root cause of the issue.
10. Ceding Part of POK to China
While India has been claiming the region to be its territory, Pakistan conveniently signed Sino-Pakistan Agreement and ceded over hundreds of square kilometers of land in Northern Kashmir and Ladakh to China in 1963.
-Government The state claims to have a self-governing legislative assembly though it is known fact that it is under the control of Pakistan. The present president of the state is Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and Chaudhry Abdul Majid is its current Prime Minister.
13. Dispute regarding the date
To this day, there is ongoing dispute regarding the exact date when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the accession document. Historians differ about whether it was the 25th or the 27th of October 1947.
14. Black Day
Kashmiri separatists consider this same day to be a Black day. They do not approve of the Indian Army’s presence in their land.
16. Accession Day
This day commemorates 26 October 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India. It’s a holiday. Festivities on the Indian side of the state include holding rallies, bursting of firecrackers, singing India’s national anthem, and raising the flag of India.
17. Role of Mountbatten
By the time Maharaja Hari Singh sent a letter to Lord Mountbatten, the Pathans were at his doorstep. Lord Mountbatten threw in a remark “It is my Government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people”. This led to the never ending dispute between the two countries.
19. Pathan Tribesmen
It was the Pathan tribesmen who initially invaded the independent state of Jam mu and Kashmir. They plundered and looted their way up to Srinagar. Pakistan denied its role in this invasion though the evidence suggested something else.
20. Instrument of Accession
Though India celebrated its independence on August 15, 1947, Maharajah Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India only on 26th October 1947. By the time the invasion of Kashmir by the pathan tribesmen supported by Pakistan had gone beyond control.
22. Independent State
J & K had the option of siding with either India or Pakistan at the time of partition. It had remained an independent state though. Maharaja Hari Singh decided to keep Kashmir and independent state.
23. The Kohala Bridge Episode
It is lesser known fact that Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, a Kashmiri Pundit was stopped at the Kohala Bridge in 1946, and refused entry into the state. He and his companions were arrested by Maharaja Hari Singh when they entered the state anyway.
25. Not ruled by the British
J & K was never ruled by the British. It remained under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.