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The Global Press Style Guide

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Kashmir

Rule:

Use this name only when specifically referring to the entire region of Kashmir that extends from within Pakistan to the east through India and into China. This name should not be used on its own to describe areas within Kashmir that can be described with more precise terms.

The areas of Kashmir include:

Kashmir, the region: This region was long known simply as Kashmir and ruled as a princely state. It was divided in 1947, and portions of it are now administered or controlled by India, Pakistan and China.

Azad Kashmir & Gilgit-Baltistan: These two territories are located between Pakistan and the line of demarcation known as the Line of Control. Both Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are controlled by Pakistan but are not considered Pakistani territories.

Aksai Chin: This territory in Kashmir’s northeastern region was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963. China now formally administers the area, which is also claimed by India.

Jammu and Kashmir: This is the formal name of the state in the country of India, which includes the Kashmir Valley and other areas under Indian administration. Article 370 of India’s Constitution grants semi-autonomous status to the state. Therefore, the state should always be called Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir Valley: This area is often the center of violent anti-Indian protests. Many Kashmiris in this region seek independence or to join Pakistan. Do not conflate the geography of the valley with the political reality of the state. This area is part of the section of the region called Indian-administered Kashmir.

Rationale:

Each portion of Kashmir has its own geopolitical scenarios, priorities and challenges. Precise language is required to ensure accuracy and reader clarity. Imprecise or inaccurate geographic references reveal bias, inflame tensions, deprive readers of clarity and deprive local sources of dignified news coverage.

The AP guideline, which states that India and Pakistan both “grabbed control of part of Kashmir,” is inaccurate.