Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing administrative territory in Pakistan. It is located in the northern part of Pakistan and shares its borders with Pakistan, India, and China. The territory has a population of around 4 million people and covers an area of approximately 13,297 square kilometers. This article will discuss the status of Azad Jammu & Kashmir in terms of its governance, legal framework, and international recognition.
AJK was created in 1947, when British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan. At that time, the majority of the princely state weather azad jammu and kashmir chose to accede to India, but a part of it, which included the districts of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Poonch, and Kotli, decided to join Pakistan. The area was initially known as “Azad Kashmir,” which means “Free Kashmir,” and was later renamed “Azad Jammu and Kashmir.”
Governance Structure Azad Jammu and Kashmir has its own government, which is led by a Prime Minister and a President. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, who is elected by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly for a five-year term. The Legislative Assembly consists of 53 members, who are elected through a direct vote. The government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has its own constitution, which was adopted in 1974.
The legal framework of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is different from the rest of Pakistan. The territory is governed Interim Constitution Act of 1974, which grants certain powers to the President and the Prime Minister. The Act also provides for a High Court and a Supreme Court, which have the power to interpret the constitution and the laws of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has the power to hear appeals from the decisions of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Supreme Court.
International RecognitionKashmir is not recognized as independent state by the international community. Pakistan claims the territory as its own and refers to it as “Azad Jammu Kashmir,” while India refers to it as “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir” (POK). The United Nations (UN) recognizes the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan as a de facto border but does not recognize either country’s claim over the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Human Rights Issues
The issue of human rights in AJK is a matter of concern. The government of Pakistan has been accused of violating the human rights of the people living in the territory, including restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and the use of excessive force by security forces. The government has also been accused of suppressing political dissent and persecuting religious minorities.
Relationship with Pakistan
AJK has a unique relationship with Pakistan, which is different from the relationship between the federal government of Pakistan and other provinces and territories of the country. The region is represented in the Pakistan National Assembly by six members, and in the Pakistan Senate by two members. The president of Pakistan is also the constitutional head of AJK.
The government of Pakistan provides significant financial and military support to AJK, and the region is an important strategic asset for the country. Pakistan has also been actively involved in the ongoing conflict over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and has been a vocal supporter of the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.
Human Rights and Political Freedom
Despite the constitutional protections and legal framework in place, there have been reports of human rights violations in AJK. Some of the reported violations include restrictions on freedom of expression, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killings. There have also been reports of discrimination against religious minorities and members of marginalized communities.
In conclusion, Azad Jammu and Kashmir is a self-governing administrative territories in Pakistan. It has its own government, constitution, and legal framework. However, it is not recognized as an independent state by the international community, and its status remains a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan. The human rights situation in the territory is a matter of concern, and there have been allegations of human rights violations by the government of Pakistan.