Kashmiri belongs to the Northwestern Zone of the Indo-Aryan language family. The total population of the Kashmiri mother tongue speakers in Azad Kashmir is over 200,000, and most of these speakers live in the Neelum valley (district Neelum), Forward Kohota (district Bagh), and Muzaffarabad . The language is spoken by over six million people in Indian-administered Kashmir, has been included in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution, and is widely taught in schools.
Current studies indicate a language shift among the Kashmiri mother tongue speakers in Azad Kashmir. A major reason for this language shift is a lack of institutional support and the phenomenon of globalization. There is a rich treasure of literature of different genres in the Kashmiri language, however only a few elderly people can read it, and no one from the younger generation is able to read and write in Kashmiri as no opportunities of learning/teaching Kashmiri are available in Azad Kashmir.