Poonch District Azad Kashmir

The Poonch District Azad Kashmir is one of the 10 districts.

On the north, the Poonch District is bounded by the Bagh District. On the north-east by the Haveli District, the south-east by the Poonch District of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, and on the south, is bordered by the Sudhanoti District and the Kotli District. On the west, it is bordered by the Rawalpindi District of Pakistan’s Punjab Province. All of these districts are located in Pakistan.

The conflict over Kashmir, of which the Poonch District is a component, is being fought out between India and Pakistan. Rawalakot is the name of the city that serves as the district headquarters. In terms of population, it is the third most populous district in Azad Kashmir.


The main language is Pahari (“Punchi”), native to an estimated 95% of the population, but there are also speakers of Gujari, while Urdu has official status.

Map Image from Wikipedia


17th Century to 1946

From the end of the seventeenth century up to 1837 CE, Poonch was ruled by the Muslim Rajas of Loran in Haveli Tehsil. It then fell into the hands of Raja Faiztalab of the Punjab government. Poonch was included in the transfer of the hilly country to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in 1848. Before this transfer, Poonch was a jagir granted to Raja Dhian Singh.

Maharaja Gulab Singh reinstated Poonch and adjoining areas to Dhian Singh’s sons, Jawahar Singh and Moiti Singh. The Poonch raja had to present one horse with gold trappings to the Maharaja. The raja of Poonch was not permitted to effect any administrative changes in the territory of Poonch without prior consultation with the Maharaja of Kashmir.

Separation of Poonch

After independence in 1947, there was a rebellion in the western part of the Poonch District. The rebels, led by Sardar Ibrahim Khan, sought support from the Dominion of Pakistan, which provided arms and then launched an invasion of its own using Pashtun tribals.


In response, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir joined India, and the conflict turned into an Indo-Pakistani war. The Poonch District was divided into two separate districts when a ceasefire was effected. The former headquarters, the city of Poonch, came under Indian administration, and a new headquarters in the western district was eventually established at Rawalakot.

1949 to Present

Bagh, Sudhnoti, Haveli, and Mendhar were the four tehsils in the original Poonch District. The Azad Kashmiri Poonch Division comprised the first two of these tehsils and a section of the third. After some time, all three tehsils were separated into their districts, and a new Poonch District was established in the middle of the Poonch Division by merging parts of the Bagh and Sudhnoti tehsils. Both of these tehsils are part of the Poonch Division.


During the Poonch uprising of 1955, which began in the early 1950s and continued into the late 1950s, the district of Poonch served as the epicenter of a violent anti-government revolt headed by the Sudhan tribe.

Administrative divisions

The Poonch district is administratively subdivided into four tehsils:

  1. Abbaspur Tehsil
  2. Hajira Tehsil
  3. Rawalakot Tehsil
  4. Thorar Tehsil


The Poonch District has made the most progress in developing middle schools for the past five years. The Poonch District achieved an education score of 73.52 out of a possible 100 points, placing it eighth in the country according to the Pakistan District Education Ranking 2017 report compiled by Alif Ailaan. The Poonch District has received a score of 84.15 on the learning scale.


The Poonch District has a score of 14.88 for its school infrastructure, which places it at number 151 on the list of districts in Pakistan and its two dependent territories ranked by infrastructure quality. This places it in the bottom five districts in terms of infrastructure quality across Pakistan and its two territories.


The scores of the schools in the Poonch District, which are 2.67, 12.1, and 6.23 respectively, highlight the serious issues with power, drinking water, and boundary walls. The condition of many school buildings also poses a significant threat to the youngsters who attend those schools.