Mirpur District

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Mirpur district (ضلع میر پور) is a district in Azad Kashmir.[1] The district is named after the main city, Mirpur. The district of Mirpur has a population of 456,200[2] and covers an area of 1,010 km2 (390 sq mi). The district is mainly mountainous with some plains. Its hot, dry climate and other geographical conditions closely resemble those of Jhelum and Gujrat, the adjoining districts of Punjab.

Mirpur

ضلع میر پور
Pakistan - Azad Kashmir - Mirpur.svg
Coordinates: 33°08′57″N 73°45′12″E / 33.1491°N 73.7534°E / 33.1491; 73.7534Coordinates: 33°08′57″N 73°45′12″E / 33.1491°N 73.7534°E / 33.1491; 73.7534
CountryPakistan
TerritoryAzad Kashmir
DivisionMirpur Division
Established1947
HeadquartersMirpur
Area
 • Total1,010 km2 (390 sq mi)
Population
 (2017)
 • Total456,200
 • Density452/km2 (1,170/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)

HistoryEdit

 
The present day Mirpur Division (shown in red) is roughly coterminus with the Mirpur district of 1947

During the British colonial times, Mirpur was one of the five districts of the Jammu province in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.[3][4] According to the 1941 census, the it had a population of 386,655, roughly 80% of whom were Muslim and 16% were Hindu.[5] It consisted of three tehsils: Kotli, Mirpur and Bhimber.[6] Kotli and Bhimber have since been made into separate districts. The three districts constitute the present day Mirpur Division in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Small portions of the erstwhile Mirpur district are also included in the Rajouri district in the Indian-administered Kashmir.

The original Mirpur district, along with the districts of Poonch and Rajouri, had close geographic, ethnic and cultural connections with West Punjab, more so than with the Jammu city and the rest of the Jammu province. Due to these reasons, scholar Christopher Snedden states that the people of Mirpur had a strong desire to join Pakistan during the Partition of India.[7]

In November 1947, Mirpur district was the site of the Mirpur Massacre where Hindus and Sikhs, as well as many refugees from the Partition of India, were killed by armed Pakistani tribesmen and soldiers.[8]

Language and ethnicityEdit

There is considerable ambiguity surrounding the name of the local language:[9] its speakers call it variously Pahari, Mirpur Pahari, Mirpuri and Pothwari,[10] while some label it as Punjabi.[11] Sociolinguists have regarded it as one of the three major dialects of the Pahari-Pothwari language complex,[12] which is intermediate between Lahnda and Punjabi.[13] Mirpur Pahari is mutually intelligible with the other two major dialects – Pothwari of the Potohar Plateau in Punjab and the Pahari spoken to the north in Azad Kashmir and around Murree – and shares with them between 77 and 84% of its basic vocabulary,[14] although the difference with the northernmost varieties (in Muzaffarabad) is sufficient to impede understanding.[15] Mirpuri speakers have a strong sense of Kashmiri identity that takes precedence over linguistic identification with closely related groups outside of Azad Kashmir.[16]

Another language spoken here is Gujari. The local dialect is closely related to the Gujari varieties spoken in the rest of Azad Kashmir and in Hazara.[17] Other languages spoken include Urdu and English.

GovernmentEdit

 
Mirpur district (centre left) in the Kashmir region

The district is administratively subdivided into 2 tehsils:[18]

VillagesEdit

Mirpur Tehsil

-Ghaseetpur Sohalian

Dadyal Tehsil

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ - Government Website
  2. ^ "Census 2017: AJK population rises to over 4m". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  3. ^ Karim, Kashmir The Troubled Frontiers 2013, pp. 29-32.
  4. ^ Behera, Demystifying Kashmir 2007, p. 15.
  5. ^ Snedden 2001, p. 118.
  6. ^ Snedden 2001, p. 112.
  7. ^ Snedden 2001, p. 120.
  8. ^ https://www.jammukashmirnow.com/Encyc/2019/11/25/25-November-1947-Mirpur-massacre-An-ill-fated-day-that-reminds-us-of-injustice-and-infringement-brutality-and-bloodshed.html
  9. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 100.
  10. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2–3, 5, 19, 100.
  11. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 44.
  12. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 2.
  13. ^ Shackle 1979, p. 201.
  14. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2, 24.
  15. ^ Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 86.
  16. ^ Shackle 2007, p. 114.
  17. ^ Hallberg & O'Leary 1992, pp. 111–12. The variety surveyed is from Kotli, to the north of Mirpur District
  18. ^ "Tehsils of Mirpur District on AJK map". ajk.gov.pk. AJK Official Portal. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

BibliographyEdit