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Ever since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, when Britain dismantled its Indian empire, India

and Pakistan have been arch rivals.

The animosity has its roots in religion and history, and is epitomised by the long-running conflict over
the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This has recently escalated into a dangerous nuclear arms race.
Partition and independence


The Indian subcontinent was partitioned into
Hindu-dominated but nominally secular India
and the newly created Muslim state of
Pakistan after Indias independence from
Great Britain in 1947. Severe rioting and
population movement ensued and an
estimated half a million people were killed in
communal violence. About a million people
were left homeless. Since partition, the
territory of Jammu and Kashmir has remained
in dispute, with Pakistan and India both
holding sectors.

In full

The name Pakistan was derived from an idea first suggested in 1933 when a student, Chaudhuri
Rahmat Ali, proposed that there should be a separate homeland which would be comprised of the
Muslim-majority provinces in the north-west as well as the geographically contiguous princely state of
Jammu and Kashmir.
The name was formulated from: P for Punjab, A for the Afghanis of the north-west frontier, K for
Kashmir, S for Sind and Tan denoting Baluchistan. The word also means land of the pure in Urdu.
The partition of the Subcontinent, however, led to severe rioting and population movement as
Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus found themselves on the wrong side of the partitioned provinces of Punjab
and Bengal. The latter of these became East Pakistan. An estimated half a million people died in
communal violence, millions more became homeless.
Jammu and Kashmir, a collection of culturally distinct regions, were nominally brought under the rule
of Sikhs in the early 19th Century. After the British fought the Sikhs in 1846, instead of assuming
direct control over the area, Britain installed a Hindu ruler as Maharaja.
The Maharaja's territorial possessions included the Buddhist area of Ladakh, the predominantly Hindu
region of Jammu, the majority Muslim valley of Kashmir, as well as smaller Muslim kingdoms in the
In the days of the British Empire, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was one of more than 560
autonomous princely states owing allegiance to Britain. At independence, the rulers were advised to
join, by means of an instrument of accession, either of the two new dominions, India or Pakistan,
bearing in mind their state's geographical position and the religion of their inhabitants.
By August 1947, the date of partition, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir had not decided which
dominion to join.
Over 50 years later, Pakistanis still believe that Jammu and Kashmir should have become part of
Pakistan because the majority of the state's population, concentrated in the valley of Kashmir, is
India, says the state of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India because by the October 1947 instrument
of accession, the Maharaja finally agreed to join India.
The 1947- 48 war


India and Pakistan first went to war in October
1947 after Pakistan supported a Muslim
insurgency in Kashmir. India agreed to a
request for armed assistance from Kashmir's
Maharaja, in return for accession of the state
to India. But the nature of that accession has
long been the subject of debate. The war
ended on 1 January 1949, with the
establishment of a ceasefire line. The status of
the territory remained in dispute because an
agreed referendum to confirm the accession
was never held.

In full

The first Indo-Pakistani war started after armed tribesmen from Pakistan's north-west frontier
province invaded Kashmir in October 1947. Besieged both by a revolt in his state and by the invasion,
the Maharaja requested armed assistance from the government of India. In return he acceded to
India, handing over powers of defence, communication and foreign affairs.
Both India and Pakistan agreed that the accession would be confirmed by a referendum once
hostilities had ceased.
Historians continue to debate the precise timing when the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir signed the
instrument of accession and the Indian army moved into the state, arguing that the Maharaja acceded
to India under duress.
In May 1948, the regular Pakistani army was called upon to protect Pakistan's borders. Fighting
continued throughout the year between Pakistani irregular troops and the Indian army.
The war ended on 1 January 1949 when a ceasefire was arranged by the United Nations, which
recommended that both India and Pakistan should adhere to their commitment to hold a referendum
in the state. A ceasefire line was established where the two sides stopped fighting and a UN
peacekeeping force established. The referendum, however, has never been held.
In 1954 Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India was ratified by the state's constituent assembly. In
1957, it approved its own constitution, modelled along the Indian constitution. Since that time India
has regarded that part of the state which it controls as an integral part of the Indian union.
To the west of the ceasefire line, Pakistan controls roughly one third of the state. A small region,
which the Pakistanis call Azad (Free) Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indians call Pakistani-occupied
Kashmir, is semi-autonomous. The larger area, which includes the former kingdoms of Hunza and
Nagar, called the northern areas, is directly administered by Pakistan.
In 1962-3, following the 1962 Sino-Indian war, India and Pakistan held talks under the auspices of
Britain and the US in an attempt to resolve their differences over Kashmir, but without success.

The First War:

India and Pakistan have a long and complicated history with each other. In
fact, these two countries simultaneously became independent from Britain.
When British India became independent, it was supposed to be divided into
two parts. Areas consisting of 75% or more Muslims were to become
Pakistan and the rest of the territory India (Sloan, Ismail. "Kashmir conflict-
who is right, India or Pakistan."
Available This arrangement did not
include the Princely States, one of which is Kashmir (Sloan). The Princely
were at liberty to determine their own future -- they could join Pakistan, join
India, or remain as a separate state (Sloan). The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari
Singh Dogra, decided to preserve the state of Kashmir so he decided to join
neither India nor Pakistan (Sloan). However, Pakistan sent tribal lashkars to
talk to Kashmir about their decision of autonomy. The Indian government
saw Pakistan's action as a sign of invasion and sent their troops to help
defend the state of Kashmir. The result of the first war between India and
Pakistan involving Kashmir was Pakistan controlling 37% while India
controlled 63% (

Two more wars occurred between Pakistan and India. One of the wars was
in 1965, which resulted in a stalemate between the two countries for
Kashmir. The second war occurred in 1971 and was triggered by Pakistan
trying to pacify the Bengali peasantry by confiscating Hindu land and
giving it to the Muslims ("1971 India-Pakistan War: Origins of Crisis,"
Available at link below). This action created eight million refugees that
created an immense burden on the Indian government. The Prime Minister,
Indira Gandhi, felt the only way to stop the flow of refugees was to support
the Bengali freedom fighters, especially the Muki Bahini. Pakistan then
began to attack suspected Muki Bahini camps located inside of India's
territory. They later struck nine Indian airfields along the western boarder.
India declared war on Pakistan and defeated them in two weeks,
overrunning East Pakistan and taking 93,000 POWS