Azad Jammu and Kashmir became an independent State on 24 October, 1947. This beautiful state, heaven on earth with breathtaking sights and sounds has a history of constant struggle against oppression. Right from 1846 when Amritsar pact took place till 1947 people of AJ&K fought against a long and oppressive rule.
This day not only brings with itself account of development and progress during the last 63 years but reminds us of countless sacrifices which ought to be celebrated each year with a spirit that is fit for the occasion. We should remember our political, religious and other eminent figures who laid their lives to support and uphold the cause of independence and freedom.
Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan's foreign policy and military policy. Kashmir is a majority disputed area between India and Pakistan. The Kashmiri people have been brutally oppressed, denied democracy and self-determination, and suffered two wars and many military mobilizations. Today a million troops face each other across the Indo-Pakistan border.
Over the decades, the armed conflict between the Indian and Pakistani regimes led to open war in 1947, 1965 and 1971. This embedded the issue of Kashmir into the core of the ideology and strategy of both ruling classes in their approach to politics. In 1947, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah, explained to Louis Mountbatten, British viceroy in India before independence, that the K in Pakistan stood for Kashmir.
The first representative political party of Muslims All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference came into being in Sirinagar in 1932. Basic purpose to formulate this party was to protect the rights of Muslims of Kashmir.
From 1934 to 1947 Muslims secured seats in all the Elections. In 1942 Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas gave a new life and spirit to Muslim Conference and invited Quaid-e-Azam to visit Jammu & Kashmir in 1944. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah extended the same invitation but Quaid-e-Azam accepted the offer of Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas. It was a real appreciation of the cause, philosophy of Muslim conference that followed the lines of Muslim league.
In the beginning of 1947, the candidates from All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference got success. On 19 July 1947 a resolution of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan was passed with popular vote. People associated with Muslim Conference were harassed, kept captive and tortured in the jails of Bagh, Plandri, Thorar, Rawlakot, Hajira, Dhirkot, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad.
The freedom struggle was motivated and sponsored by the Azad Kashmir with support from the people of Pakistan and the Chief Minister of NWFP Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan. Politicians of Jammu and Kashmir and ex army officers started this from the Eastern bank of river Jehlum. Four groups of armed men entered the state from Dhirkot, Chirala, Mang and Azad Pattan. Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan, Pir Syed Ali Asghar Shah Gillani, Maulana Muhammad Afsar Khan, Lieutenant Bostan Khan, Captain Hussain Khan, Raja Sakhi Dalair Khan, Khansahab Khan Muhammad Khan and others were at the fore front of war of independence. On 22 October 1947, an army of Pashtuns succeeded in occupying Muzaffarabad.
Azad Kashmir government was formed on 24 October, 1947 and Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan became the first president. The problems of Kashmiris are manifold, they are subject to worse kinds of terror that one can think of. Until and unless the rest of the world overcomes its hypocrisy related to Muslim issues, and until and unless India is forced by the world community to give the Kashmiris their right to determine their future, as promised in many long-ignored UN resolutions, there is no hope of peace and things will only get worse. In the long run this will hurt India more as other states in India realise that violence is the only way to get attention to their plights.
24th October is not just the independence day of Azad Kashmir but it has symbolic implications. It is a day that symbolizes hope, sacrifice, continuous effort and struggle of our brothers to achieve the right to self determination. This day brings with itself immense responsibility and pressure to justify our existence as an independent state. It poses questions that whether we succeeded in achieving our goals of development and progress or not. All the governments of Pakistan have taken Kashmir issue on priority basis and created awareness among the world community about the plight band sufferings of the people of Indian occupied Kashmir as well as contributed to the development and progress of the state.
The current government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir is in its initial phase and even in such a short time it has taken considerable measures to ensure progress and development in the state. The efforts of the government are the true depiction of the commitment and vision of Pakistan Peoples Party to people. The promise of reaching out to the public and provision of basic necessities to their door step is not a distant hope now.
During the past few weeks, the government has secured the future of 526 employees of Information Technology by normalising their posts, Mir Waiz Maulvi Farooq Medical College Muzaffarabad was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Pakistan Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani on 8th of October, 2000 vacancies were announced in Police department, a project "Strengthening of Live Stock Breed Improvement Program AJK" has been launched, many Industries development schemes have been started for the year 2011-12, keeping in view the growing influence of media a committee has been constituted which is headed by the Minister Information Syed Bazil Ali Naqvi to finalise recommendations to further strengthen the department of Information in AJ&K, the government is also planning to hold Local Bodies elections in the next six. Government is committed to eradicate corruption and promote real good governance in the State.