Background

District Poonch is popularly known as mini Kashmir and is one among the remote districts of Jammu and Kashmir state. It is bounded by the Actual Line of Control (ALC) from three sides.The ALC is about 103 Kms. from Tarkundi in Balakote to Sawjian in Mandi Block. Poonch has witnessed many historical events and has been ruled by outsiders and locals at different junctures till it became a part of independent India. In the 6th Century A.D. Chinese traveller Huien Tsang passed through Poonch. He wrote that Poonch was famous for graphics, fine tea (Musloom) and good horses. Around 850 A.D., Poonch became a sovereign state when Mr. Nar, a horse trader declared himself Raja of Poonch . In 1596 A.D. Mughal King Jehangir nominated Siraj-ud-din of village Kahuta as Raja of Poonch . In 1798 A.D. a Gujjar leader Rooh-ullah-Sangu became the ruler of this area.

From 1819 A.D. to 1850 A.D. Poonch remained a part of Khalsa Darbar , Lahore. In 1850 A.D. Dogra Raja Moti Singh laid foundation of Dogra Raj in Poonch .  On the death of Raja Jagat Dev Singh in 1940,  Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan became administrator of Poonch under the orders of Kashmir Government. In 1947 two and half  tehsils of Poonch principality went under the illegal occupation of Pakistan, while the rest became a constituent of Rajouri Poonch district. In 1967 for administrative convenience this district was further divided into two parts , viz district Rajouri and district Poonch.

Languages

The people of different faiths, caste and creed are living peacefully in the district. People speak Pahari except Gujjars and Bakerwals who speak Gojri

 

Folk and Literature

Literature in languages of Poonch is rich in folk songs. Most of the Punchi folk songs make women as their central theme. Family feuds, battles, love, marriage ceremonies, social rituals, social evils and superstitions are also have been given attention. Chann, Kainchi, Sepaiah and Maiah are some of the popular folk songs. Folk songs also speak of the bravery and heroism of the peoples of Poonch. Some folk songs i.e Jabu, Shamash Khan and Nura still resound in mountains of the area. Folk songs of Poonch have pased on from one generation to another without any documentation. Now serious efforts are being made by various scholars to preserve these in literature in original form.

 

Economy

The economic condition of people of Poonch district is not satisfactory. Industrial environment is totally absent and commercial activity exists on a very low scale. Peoples have small pieces of land for cultivation. The poverty tells adversely upon the life style of the general population which cripples their purchasing power and renders most of them fragile to withstand the abnormalities of consumer market. There are many unemployed youths in the district and the people usually try to go for the government jobs as the potential in the private sector is bare minimal. Unemployment problem among youth, both skilled and unskilled workers is quite large when compared to other districts of the State. The State Govt./Distt. Administration is trying its level best to eradicate the problem by implementation of different employment generation schemes viz. PMRY, SSES, SGSY, MNREGA.

Administrative Setup

Before partition, district Poonch consisted of four tehsils, namely Bagh, Sadhnuti, Mendhar and Haveli. After traumetic experience of 1947 two and a half tehsils went under the illegal occupation of Pakistan while tehsil Mendhar and half of tehsil Haveli continued being a part of the country. From 1947 to 1967 district Poonch was named as Rajouri-Poonch district. In 1967, Rajouri- Poonch district was again bifurcated into two parts namely, Rajouri and Poonch districts. Presently under single line administration, the sectoral heads of various departments are working under the administrative control of District Development Commissioner.

 

The District Development Commissioner is also known as Deputy Commissioner and is Revenue head of the District.The Deputy Commissioner is also vested with Powers of District Magistrate and is responsible to maintain Law and Order in the District. The law confers him very wide powers for maintaining peace and tranquility.The administration of Police force  is vested  with Superintendent of Police   in the  District but under the  general directions of the District Magistrate as per provisions of Law i.e. Indian Police Act, 1861.