China occupied Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir: All you need to know, where is it? Can you visit?

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Aksai Chin are part of Jammu and Kashmir. According to PTI, answering clarifications sought by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury in the Lok Sabha, Shah said that BJP leaders will give up their lives to secure PoK and added that whenever he mentions Jammu and Kashmir, it includes the areas held by Pakistan and China.

What is Pakistan occupied Kashmir?

After the war of 1947 between India and Pakistan, the Kashmir administration was divided into two parts. The first part is a sub-continent of Jammu and Kashmir while the second part is called Pakistan occupied Kashmir, also called as PoK. The PoK is basically a part of the J&K invaded by Pakistan, whose borders touches Pakistan’s area of Punjab, Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor, China’s Xinjiang region and east of Indian Kashmir.

What is China occupied Kashmir?

Aksai Chin is a disputed border area between China and India. The area is claimed by India as the easternmost part of Jammu and Kashmir while China claims it to be a part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In 1962, both the countries fought a brief war in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. In 1993 and 1996, India and China signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control. The area is currently in control of the Chinese. Entry to the area is restricted for tourists for security reasons. However, if permissions are granted from China, the area can be accessed through China National Highway 219. Besides officials from the Chinese military, the inhabitants of Aksai Chin are members of nomadic groups such as Bakarwal. China National High​​way 219 is important for China as it connects Tibet and Xinjiang. The construction of the highway started in 1951 and was completed in 1957. The construction of the highway was one of the many reasons that triggered the Sino-Indian War (1962). The repavement of the highway was taken up in 2013, about 55 years after the completion.

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