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  • The dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is one of the longest-running conflicts in the world, and all started with the creation of the South Asian countries.

  • In 1947 Britain gave its Indian colonies independence, forming two nations Pakistan for the Muslims and India for everyone else.

  • August 15, 1947 found the partitioning going into effect.

  • (The) partition forced 14 million people on both sides of the new divide to migrate across the border.

  • This process was marked by ethnic and religious violence, causing between 1 and 2 million deaths.

  • Caught in the middle of it all was the hotly contested Kashmir, a scenic mountain region located on the border between the two countries and slightly bigger than the state of Kansas.

  • Under the partition plan provided by the Indian independence act, Kashmir was free to decide which country it would join.

  • Because it was a Muslim majority state, most wanted to join Pakistan.

  • But Kashmir's Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh preferred to keep the region independent.

  • But Kashmirian Muslims weren't happy with this decision and began a revolution, which was later joined by armed tribesmen from Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province.

  • In October 1947, Hari Singh turned to India for military assistance.

  • In exchange, he signed Kashmir over to India, pending a referendum which would allow the citizens to vote on the future status of the region.

  • Pakistan did not recognize the Instrument of Accession as a legal document, triggering the first war between India and Pakistan.

  • The fighting lasted until the United Nations helped broker a peace deal known as the Karachi agreement.

  • That agreement created what's now known as the line of control, a de facto border splitting Kashmir in two.

  • But the violence continued.

  • In 1965 and 1971, two more Wars broke out and thousands have been killed in smaller military conflicts over the years.

  • Both countries had developed nuclear weapons by 1999, when Pakistani troops invaded indian-controlled Kashmir.

  • The conflict sparked concerns about a nuclear war.

  • But India won in a ground battle that killed hundreds on both sides.

  • For the past two decades, intermittent violence and reports of human rights violations by security forces have continued.

  • Today both India and Pakistan claimed own Kashmir entirely, but India currently governs about 45%, the central and southern part, while Pakistan controls 35%, the Western Area.

  • In the meantime, 20% the north eastern part of the region is heavily influenced by China.

  • In 2003 the rivals agreed in principle to a ceasefire along the line of control.

  • Flights which were previously severed resumed and a new bus service was started between the two border towns.

  • But over the years both sides have continued to square off again and again, accusing one another of violating the terms of the ceasefire and blaming each other for a number of attacks on each other's soil.

  • Hostilities reached a boiling point on February 14, 2019, a Pakistani-based terror group claimed responsibility for an attack involving a suicide bomber in Kashmir, which killed 40 Indian paramilitary police.

  • This was followed by a series of tit-for-tat airstrikes.

  • Pakistan then captured an Indian pilot but released him days later, calling it a gesture of peace.

  • However this has not yet diffused concerns from the international community as tensions between the two nuclear powers reached the highest level in decades.

The dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is one of the longest-running conflicts in the world, and all started with the creation of the South Asian countries.

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Pakistan-India conflict: Why Kashmir is the centre of the dispute

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    April Lu posted on 2019/04/21
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