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The election in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

The election in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir:


Context:

Elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) for 53 seats. There are about 20 lakh voters.

 

Present position of PoK:

  • PoK is called “Azad Jammu & Kashmir” (“AJK” in short).
  • It came into being after the 1949 ceasefire between India and Pakistan.
  • It comprises the parts of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that were occupied by the Pakistani forces.
  • Pakistan’s constitutional position on PoK is that it is not a part of the country, but the “liberated” part of Kashmir.

However, Article 257 of Pakistan’s Constitution says: “When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and the State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.”

 

Political structure and how is it administered?

  • The constitution of Pakistan lists the country’s four provinces — Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • For all practical purposes, PoK is run by the Pakistan government through the all-powerful Kashmir Council, a nominated 14-member body headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • The Assembly has a five-year term. The legislators elect a “prime minister” and a “president” for the territory.
  • While PoK is ostensibly an autonomous, self-governing territory, the Pakistan Army is the final arbiter on all matters Kashmir.

 

India’s stand on PoK:

  • The fact that PoK is an integral part of India has been our consistent policy ever since 1947.
  • India has also made clear to the world that any issue related to PoK is the internal matter of India.
  • Please note that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in the UT of Ladakh in the fresh maps released by the government.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that there are 12 seats reserved for Refugees in PoK elections? Read Here Briefly

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Location of PoK.
  2. Rivers flowing through.
  3. Neighbours.
  4. Instrument of Accession.

Mains Link:

Discuss why PoK is significant for India.

Sources: Indian Express.