There are many beautiful valleys in the Azad Kashmir Pakistan, where people love to spend their holidays due to the pleasant, healthy, and romantic weather. Azad Kashmir has diversified cultures, tribes, sects, and peoples. There are more than 25 different languages and dialects spoken in the various valleys in the Azad Kashmir, the territory under the control of Pakistan. Most of the languages are only spoken by specific people in the limited geographical area. Local people treat you with more hospitality and love if someone can speak their local language. Here I want to introduce the main languages spoken in the valley of Azad Kashmir.
Hindko, locally known as Hindki, is spoken by various areas in northwestern Pakistan, in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Punjab. It is somehow similar with the Punjabi and Saraiki languages. More than 4.6 million people speak the Hindko language in Pakistan, and these people are known as Hindki or Hindkowan people. It belongs to Indo-Aryan languages group. It is mostly spoken in Hazara Division, Peshawar, Kohat, and Potohar. It has various dialects such as Peshawari, Kohati, Ghebi, Chacchi, Awankari, and Hazara Hindko. It is also spoken in the Neelum Valley Kashmir, where it is known as Parmi as well as along the Line of Control area in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Hinko speakers belong to various ethnic groups in different areas of Pakistan.
Gujari is a Rajasthani style spoken language by the Gujjars and other tribes of India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is spoken by the people of Azad Kashmir and Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas it is widely spoken in various regions of India such as Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, Indian Punjab, etc. It also belongs to Indo-Aryan group of languages. As it is well developed language, so there are number of books written in Gujari language. It is a developed language and recognized language by the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also spoken by lot of people in Azad Kashmir and in Pakistan. There are several books, journals, TV and radio programmes in Gujari channels to promote Gujari language.
Kashmiri language belongs to Indo-Aryan languages group and spoken by most of people living in Jumma & Kashmir region including Azad Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir. It is also an official language in Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir. It is mostly spoken by Kashmiris living in Muzaffarabad, Neelum, and Hattian. It is also spoken by the people living in the Chenab Valley region. More than 6.8 million Kashmiri language speakers live in Azad Kashmir and Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir, whereas 5% of the population of Azad Kashmir speak this language. It has three writing scripts Perso-Arabic, Devanagari, and Sharada scripts.
Kundal Shahi Language
Kundal Shahi belongs to Indo-Aryan languages and Dardic dialect group. It is mostly spoken by the people living in the Kundal Shahi town in Neelum Valley. It is also endangered language due to shift toward Hindko language by the Kundal Shahi speakers.
Pahari – Pothwari Language
Pahari language also belongs to Indo-Aryan languages group and is spoken largely in the Pothohar Plateau in the North of Punjab, in Azad Kashmir, and Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known as Pothohari and mostly spoken in the India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir. It is transitional between Punjabi and Hindko. In Jammu & Kashmir, the Pahari - Pothwari language speakers also called Pahari people. In Azad Kashmir, it is mostly spoken along the Jhelum Valley along the Jhelum River in Mirpur district and Abbotabad district. There are three major dialects such as Mirpuri, Pothwari, and Pahari and are mutually intelligible. Pothwari dialect is spoken in the surrounding area of the Pothohar Plateau of northern Punjab as well as Rawalpindi and Jhelum. Mirpuri dialect is spoken across the Jhelum River in Mirpur district. Pahari dialect is spoken mostly in Murree and the Galyat in Rawalpindi and Abbottabad.