Do you know that the Indian ‘official’ map of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) shows the state having a geographical area of 2,26,741 square kilometres?
This would make J&K the 5th largest state in India in terms of area. Even after the division, the UT of Ladakh is bigger than 13 Indian states and all other 8 UT’s; while the UT of J&K is bigger than 9 Indian states and 7 other UT’s.
Do you know that India effectively controls only 1,04,390 square kilometres, or only 46% of the total area shown on the ‘official’ map? This would make the erstwhile J&K state – before it was divided into 2 Union Territories (UT’s) – the 12th largest state in India.
Do you know that Pakistan controls 78,114 square kilometres, or 34.5% of the ‘full’ state of J&K shown on our official map? Of this, only 13,297 square kilometres is referred to in Pakistan as Azad Kashmir, and the balance 64,817 square kilometres is Gilgit-Baltistan. Both are treated within Pakistan as Autonomous (self-governing) Territories, and not as Provinces. However, India treats all of this territory as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir lost this territory to Pakistan in the First Indo-Pak War of 1947-48. Pakistan has four provinces – Balochistan (3,47,190 sq.km.), Punjab (2,05,344 sq.km.), Sindh (1,40,914 sq.km.) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1,01,741 sq.km.)
Do you know that China controls 44,237 square kilometres, or the balance 19.5% of the territory in our map? Of this, the 6,993 square kilometres Shaksgam Tract was also won by Pakistan from us in 1947-48, and ceded to China in 1953. The larger portion of 37,244 square kilometres – known as Aksai Chin – has a long history, which I will save for another blog post.