Web Desk: Azad Kashmir which is also known as (Azad Jammu o Kashmir, AJK) which means ‘Free Kashmir’. It lies in the west of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir and was previously part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The territory also borders Pakistan’s Punjab province to the South and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west.
Here are 8 things you must know about this place.
This territory is a nominally self-governing under Pakistani control. Azad Kashmir has its own elected president, Prime Minister, Legislative Assembly and official flag.
The state has its own Supreme Court and a High Court. It is not represented in the Parliament of Pakistan.
The economy of wide-range of population, depends on agriculture services, tourism and remittances sent by members of the British Mirpuri community. Nearly, 87% of the households own farms.
The literacy rate of the region is 74% and also has the highest school enrollment in Pakistan. The enrollment rate in primary school being 98% and 90% for boys and girls respectively.
The most residents o f the region are not ethnic Kashmiris but are ethnically Punjabi. The tribes that are living here are Sudhans, Gujjars, Awans, Abbasis, and Kashmiris.
There is a cricket stadium in Muzaffarabad (Kashmiri’s capital) with the capacity of 8,000 people. New Mirpur city has also a cricked stadium named, Quaid-e-Azam Stadium, which has been taken over by the Pakistan Cricket Board for renovation to bring it up to International standards.
Places to visit
Destination of travelers when visit Azad Kashmir are, Neelum Valley (a scenic valley that runs parallel to Kaghan valley and is separated by snow covered peaks), Jhelum Valley (a scenic valley located 59kms from Muzaffarabad), Baral (a beautiful village near Baral, has a fort of Dogra period), Billan Nar (small but beautiful place), Niyarain sharif (a religious place).
Azad Kashmir has varied wildlife. You can see wild animals like leopard, Himalayan Bear, Ibex, Grey Goral, Musk Deer, Kashmir Stag, Monal Pheasant, Western Tragopan, Snow Pheasant, Red-lead Partridge, Black Koklas Pheasant, Peacock, Dusk Markhor ect.
Guidance for Tourists
Local tourists can visit Azad Kashmir without any restriction but foreign tourists need permit from AJK Home Department at Muzaffarabad to vist place like Dheerkot, Rawalakot, Chotta gala, Chikkar, Daokhan, Muzaffarabad, Mangia & Sehnsa.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikitravel