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Azad Jammu Kashmir Regiment (AK Regiment).

The Azad Kashmir Regiment is one of the six infantry regiments of Pakistan Army. Its Regimental Center is located at Mansar, Attock District, Punjab.

The Azad Kashmir Regular Forces, raised in 1947, were armed and supported by Pakistani government; The regiment was pushed to fight the Indian Army in the Northern valley of Kashmir in 1948. Bands of armed veterans formed into ad hoc platoons, companies and battalions led by retired officers and NCOs. After cease-fire was declared in Kashmir, these battalions joined together to form the Azad Kashmir Regular Forces (AKRF). The AKRF had its own intake and training structure separate from the Pakistan Army. The AKRF was the military element of the Azad Kashmir Government. Uniforms and rank structures were the same as the Pakistan Army.

Previous colonel commandants of the regiment have included Maj General Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, the former President of Azad Kashmir and Lt General Javed Hassan, who as a Maj Gen commanded the Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) during the 1999 Kargil War and later served as the commander XXX Corps, Gujranwala.[1] The current Colonel Commandant is Maj Gen Mukhtar Ahmed who took over on 28 September, 2007.[2]

In wartime operations, the AKRF was part of the Order of Battle of the Pakistan Army,It was involved in 1965 Operation Gibralter where It's Battalions carried daring raids over Indian Garrisions. One of It's Company Commanders Maj Malik Munawar Awan is known for his heroic action and Occupation of Indian Garrision of Rajori. Later Maj Malik Munawar was awarded "Sitara e Jurat" for gallantry and also the Title of "King of Rajori" by President Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan. All of the AKRF battalions were part of the 12th Infantry Division (Pakistan) that carried out Operation Gibralter as well as defended Azad Kashmir.

The Azad Kashmir Regular Forces fought brilliantly in the 1971 war and then in 1972 when the 9th Azad Kashmir Battalion defended Chakpatra and Leepa Valley from a much more vast Indian force composed of several regular battalions. This particular Batallion was fathered by Lt. Col Ghulam Rasul Raja- Sitara-e-Jurrat(1948), Military Cross(WW2)(Deceased) of Sarai Alamgir, and is associated with particular honour in example of its father, who fought fearlessly in both WW2 in Libya, for which he was awarded the honour of Military Cross by the British Raj, and in the First Kashmir War of 1948 where his willingness of self-sacrifice led to the tactically-genius capture of a mountain(chunge) on the Indian occupied front, where there were hundreds of troops stationed. He managed to do this with only a small number of men, for which he was awarded the honour of Sitara-e-Jurrat by the Government of Pakistan. The Pakistan Army later honoured the AKRF by absorbing it into its own ranks and by giving it the status of a Regular Line Infantry Regiment. The AKRF thus became the Azad Kashmir Regiment.

Now battalions of the Azad Kashmir Regiment are stationed all over Pakistan, and have fought in far away places such as Somalia, as part of the United Nations contingent in that country.

References

  1. ^ Yaqoob Malik. "Armed forces proved their capability: Musharraf" Dawn, April 5, 2003
  2. ^ "Maj Gen Mukhtar New Colonel Commandant AK Regiment" paktribune.com, 28 September, 2007
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