What is the full form of POK
POK: Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
POK stands for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It refers to the area in Kashmir that has been occupied and under the control of Pakistan. The area comprises of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) as well as Gilgit- Baltistan(Northern Areas). The population of POK is approximately 52 Lakh as of 2020.
This area of Jammu and Kashmir was invaded in 1947 by Pakistan.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir is also known as Azad Kashmir and is more connected with the western part of Kashmir, whereas Baltistan is the portion of west Ladakh province and was occupied by Pakistan in 1947.
How was the area accessed?
During the partition of India, Jammu and Kashmir was given a choice to either be part of India or Pakistan, but the ruler of J &K at that time, Maharaja Hari Singh, opted to keep it as an independent state.
Then in 1947, tribals known as Pashtoon attacked Jammu Kashmir. In order to fight with the situation, Maharaja Hari Singh decided to take aid from military and soon contacted the then Indian Governor-General – Mountbatten for the same.
Then, on Mountbatten's advice, it was tried by the Indian government to make Kashmiri people part of India, asked them to either be part of India, Pakistan or remain independent through a referendum.
But, it couldn't be executed as the legality of India's accession to POK was questioned by the Pakistani government and Kashmiri people residing there.
Subsequently, Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession, and Mountbatten accepted the same; this has said to be the primary seed or reason for the Kashmir dispute. Under this agreement, essential subjects like defence, foreign affairs, and communication of J&K were India's responsibility, and for the rest subjects, Jammu and Kashmir was free to make their decisions.
POK and its importance
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is significant due to its location. It shares borders with various countries like Punjab and Northwest Frontier province in Pakistan; Wakhan Corridor (Afghanistan); J&k (India).
Soon after accession, the Indian portion of J&K followed the democratic path as per Indian Constitution Article 370.
AJK is under the governance of the Azad Kashmir Interim Constitution Act 1974; even though it has a president, PM, and a council but the entire government structure is dependent on Pakistan's establishments, even for the smallest issues.
The leader of Azad Kashmir gave the northern areas to Pakistan under an agreement signed in 1949. As per the agreement (Karachi Agreement), Pakistan rules over Gilgit- Baltistan.
Some interesting facts about POK
- Jammu and Kashmir was always under the command and control of Maharaja Hari Singh and failed to ever come under British rule during the colonisation of India. Moreover, India became independent on 15 August 1947, but it was only on 26 October that Maharaja Hari Singh had agreed to accede to the Indian union.
- Accession Day is celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir and is a holiday, as this day is said to observe as a celebration of the agreement of the Instrument of Accession of Jammu to India. It is a day that marks the union of India to J&K. The date of accession has also been a topic of debate; as per some, the same was done on 25 October, while some point out that it was done a day later, 26 October.
- Whereas this day is observed as a black day by the Kashmiri separatists.
- On 27 October, Kashmir's accession was officially finished when the Indian Army's Sikh battalion was shifted to Srinagar, and they stopped the invasion of Pathan.
- POK is also said to have its independent Supreme Court and High Court.
- A part of POK was given to China by Pakistan in 1963; the area is known as Trans-Karakoram Tract or ceded area. The area includes some of the most beautiful and mesmerising places like Hunza- Gilgit, Shaksgam Valley, Baltistan, and Raksham.
- Shaksgam(The tract) is said to be part of Shigar, the Baltistan region of Ladakh, and the area was under the control of Raja of Shigar until 1971 when Pakistan went ahead and abolished the same.
- The track is one of the rough places in the world with the highest mountains comprising of Broad peak, Masherbrum, etc. It is also in close proximity to the battlefield – Siachen Glacier, which is one of the highest battlefields ever in the world.
- The people of POK earn their income through the cultivation of maize, wheat or through forestry and livestock. POK has many reserves like low-grade coal, chalk, etc., and the languages spoken here are Pashto, Urdu, Kashmiri, and Punjabi.
- As per the reports, POK is said to be under very degraded condition, and the region has not been developed deliberately to keep the poor people under Pakistan's control and to train them and damage India and its economy.
Now, after the repeal of Article 370, the Indian population is desiring to re-own POK.