Poonch District (J&K)

Poonch District (J&K)

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Poonch | type = district | latd = 33.77 | longd = 74.1
locator_position = right | state_name = Jammu and Kashmir
district = Poonch
leader_title =
leader_name =
area_telephone = 911965
postal_code =185101
website = http://www.poonch.nic.in
footnotes =

District Poonch or Punch popularly known as mini Kashmir, is the smallest in area and the remotest district of Jammu and Kashmir, the capital is Poonch city. It is bounded by the Line of Control (boundary between Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir) on three sides (north, west and south). The 1947-48 war between India and Pakistan divided it into two parts. One went to Pakistan and the other became part of India.


Presently District Poonch in Indian Kashmir is divided into four tehsils:

Each tehsil has its Tehsildar, which is the administrative head. The district is further divided into six blocks: Poonch, Mandi, Mendhar, Balakote, Surankote and Buffliaz. [ [http://jkrd.nic.in/listAllDistricts.pdf Statement showing the number of blocks in respect of 22 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir State including newly Created Districts] dated 2008-03-13, accessed 2008-08-30] The administrative head of each block is the Block Development Officer (BDO). Each block consists of a number of panchayats.


October 1947 changed it all. The Muslims of lower areas of Poonch i.e Bagh and Rawalakot always resented the oppressive policies of the Dogra Maharaja of Jammu, after he took charge of Poonch in 1936. At the time of partition, there were rumours that Muslims were being massacred in Jammu. It enraged the Poonchies and they intensified the struggle for independence from Jammu. A major part of the district went to Azad Kashmir. During the 1947-48 war between India and Pakistan, Poonch city was under attack of Pakistani tribes and Pakistan army for about one year. It was in the month of November 1948 that Poonch city was re-united with Indian-administered Kashmir.


Poonch District has 3 assembly constituencies: Surankote, Mendhar and Poonch Haveli. [cite web| url=http://ceojammukashmir.nic.in/ERos_AERos.html | title=ERO's and AERO's | publisher=Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir | accessdate=2008-08-28]


People of different faiths live peacefully in the district. Races like Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis, Punjabis, Kashmiris and Rajputs live in harmony. Gujjars mostly reside on the slopes of mountains. They have small pieces of land for cultivation, and cattle for supplementing their economy. Bakerwals are nomadic tribes. Gujjars and Bakerwals speak Gojri whereas rest of the population (excluding Kashmiris) speak Pahari/Poonchi. The mother tongue is a great cementing factor of the Pahari speaking people because they remain so closely associated with each other that cultural ethos transcend all that of distinct beliefs and faiths [ [http://poonch.nic.in/AboutPoonch/AboutPoonch.htm About Poonch - Official site of District Poonch of J&K] ]


With the recent developments between India and Pakistan, the divided people are again coming into contact with each other. The opening of the Poonch-Rawalakot bus is an important step in this direction.


External links

* [http://poonch.nic.in/welcome.html Official website of District Poonch] - Administered by India.
* [http://www.ajk.gov.pk Official website of the Government of Azad Kashmir] - Administered by Pakistan.
* [http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/p/poonch.html The entire list of rulers starting from Raja Moti Singh] ;Related links

* [http://sawerkar.stormloader.com/index2.html Personal website of a Poonchi Sawerkar Sharma]

Virtual tour of Poonch

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