After the partition of Sub-Continent 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. In view of geographical, religious and historical links the people of Jammu & Kashmir state demanded freedom, instead, entered into an unfortunate conspiracy with the Hindu leadership and acceded to India. This sparked the liberation movement of the Muslim population of the State against the Dogra and Indian forces in Kashmir. As a result of this freedom movement, a part of the State was liberated from the Dogra-cum-fadian domination in October 1947, and named Azad State of Jammu & Kashmir. It has its own elected President, Prime Minister, Legislature, High Court, Supreme Court and Official Flag.
Geography and climate
The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower area of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak (4,734 meters). However, Sarwaali Peak” (6326 meters) in Neelum Valley is the highest peak in the State. Fertile, green, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad Kashmir's geography, making it one of the most beautiful regions of the Subcontinent. The region receives rainfall in both the winter and the summer. Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of Pakistan. Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, with the highest average rainfall occurring near
Muzaffarabad (around 1800 mm). During the summer season, monsoon floods of the rivers Jhelum and
Neelum are common due to extreme rains and snow melting.
People and Culture
Azad Jammu and Kashmir is a fascinating land of people, languages & culture. The texture of present population is composed of races claiming their descent from Semitic, Mongoloid, Aryans, Persians, and Turks& Arabs. The people of districts Kotli, Mirpur & Bhimber are sturdy, simple, truthful and deeply attached to their land. The culture of this area resembles to
that of the adjoining area of Punjab. The people of districts Poonch, Bagh, Haveli & Sudhnoti are adventure loving and there are numerous anecdotes of their matchless valor as well as inspiring sacrifices for freedom. While Muzaffarabad District has its own distinctive culture. The people
of the State are intelligent ingenious, hardworking, dynamic & skillful.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir embodies the poetry of nature, which no human language can interpret in words. Majestic ice capped mountains, verdant woods, lively rivers and placid lakes form the landscape of the state. Its snow-covered peaks, dense forests, winding rivers, turbulent foaming streams, wheat scented valleys, velvet green plateaus and climate varying from arctic to tropical, all join together to make it an excellent tourist attraction. Valleys like Neelum, Jhelum, Leepa, Sudhan Gali, Mehmood Gali, Devi Gali, Ganga Choti, Rawalakot, Banjonsa,Valley Binah, Khoi Ratta, Tata pani, Samahni, Mangla lake and Baghsar unfold delightful scenic beauty and provide a feast of pleasure to a discerning tourist’s eyes.
Azad Kashmir is also blessed with a varied mountainous landscape ranging from low hills to high mountains (2000 to 6000 meters) most suitable for soft to medium adventure tourism. The area provides excellent opportunities for rock climbing, trekking, mountaineering, summer camping and hikes. Moreover blessed with large number of rivers and streams, the state offers great potential for white water sports like rafting, canoeing and kayaking.