Seventy years ago, as India and Pakistan gained their independence, the region of Jammu and Kashmir also found itself partitioned, with Gilgit Baltistan and ‘Azad’ Kashmir administered by Pakistan ever since. Located by the volatile Line of Control and caught in the middle of artillery barrages from both ends, ‘Azad’ Kashmir was until over a decade ago one of the most closed-off territories of the world. In a first book of its kind, award-winning Pakistani writer Anam Zakaria travels through the region to hear the people of ‘Azad’ Kashmir – their sufferings, hopes and aspirations. She talks to women and children living near the Line of Control; journalists and writers braving all odds to document events in remote areas; former militants still committed to the cause; nationalists struggling for a united independent Kashmir; and refugees yearning to reunite with their families. In the process, Zakaria breaks the silence surrounding a people who are often ignored in discussions on the present and future of J&K even though they are important stakeholders in what happens in the region. What she unearths during her deeply empathetic journeys is critical to understanding the Kashmir conflict and will surprise and enlighten Indians and Pakistanis alike.