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History of the Animosity Between Pakistan and India

This article was written as a response to the question: What is the history of the animosity between Pakistan and India?
History of animosity between India and Pakistan is very long as it started since their independence in 1947. These conflicts started with the violent partition of British India in 1947. There are three major wars that have taken place between the two states in 1947, 1965 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues.

History of animosity between India and Pakistan is very long as it started since their independence in 1947. These conflicts started with the violent partition of British India in 1947. There are three major wars that have taken place between the two states in 1947, 1965 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues. 

The Partition of India came about in the aftermath of World War II, when both Great Britain and British India were dealing with the economic stresses caused by the war and its demobilization. It was the intention of those who wished for a Muslim state to come from British India to have a clean partition between independent and equal "Pakistan" and "Hindustan" once independence came.

The Indian subcontinent was partitioned into Hindu-dominated but nominally secular India and the newly created Muslim state of Pakistan after India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947. When India and Pakistan won independence from Britain in 1947, Kashmir was given the choice of being governed by either country. While Maharaja, Hari Singh, and then provincial leader of Kashmir preferred independence, he allowed the key powers of government to be given to India in return for military protection. Since then, India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir: one in 1947-1948, the latest in 1965.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1947:

Pakistan became an independent state in 1947 when the colony of British India was partitioned into one predominantly Muslim state consisting of two geographically separate regions - East and West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh) and one predominantly Hindu state (present-day India).

When British India gave way to two new independent states, (Pakistan and India) the decision to divide Punjab and Bengal, two of the biggest provinces, between India and Pakistan had disastrous consequences. This division created inter-religious violence of such magnitude that exchange of population along religious lines became a necessity in these provinces. More than two million people migrated across the new borders and more than one hundred thousand died in the spate of communal violence that spread even beyond these provinces. The independence also resulted in tensions over Kashmir leading to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, which culminated in an armistice, brokered by the United Nations, and a hitherto unresolved Kashmir dispute. 

One of the most intractable and long standing conflicts in the world is the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. This conflict started in 1947, on the day after India and Pakistan simultaneously became independent. Three major wars have been fought over this and thousands and perhaps even more than a million people have died. The result so far is that India controls almost two-thirds of Kashmir and Pakistan controls one-third. China controls the rest. The conflict continues.

Picture of India and Pakistani border guards

Two more wars occurred between Pakistan and India.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965:

In Operation Gibraltar, Pakistani volunteers infiltrated the Kashmir valley anticipating the provocation of a Kashmiri insurgency. Fighting lasted for five weeks and the war ended on 23 September 1965 after India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire brokered by world powers and implemented through UN Security Council Resolution 211 (1965). The ceasefire did not hold and India and Pakistan negotiated the Tashkent Declaration on 10 January 1966 whereby they agreed to a number of terms, including a return to pre-conflict positions on their respective sides of the Line of Control (LOC).

The second war of 1971:

It occurred in 1971 and was triggered by Pakistan trying to pacify the Bengali peasantry by confiscating Hindu land and giving it to the Muslims. 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 border. India declared war on Pakistan and defeated them in two weeks, overrunning East Pakistan (which is now called Bangladesh)

The nuclear race

India first began building its own nuclear weapons in the mid-1960s. In 1974; India conducted its first nuclear test - the so-called "Smiling Buddha" detonations in the Rajasthan Desert.

In April 1998, Pakistan finally tested its new Ghauri intermediate-range nuclear missile, named after a 12th century Muslim warrior who conquered part of India.

Pakistan announced that it had conducted five nuclear tests of its own in south-western Baluchistan. The tests were widely criticized throughout the world, and led to the imposition by some countries of sanctions. 

Both countries also developed and tested both short-range and intermediate-range missiles. 

Both countries fought a limited war in Kashmir in 1999 and experienced a major crisis in 2001-02 and then after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008.They have also intermittently made efforts to normalize relations but all have proved to be in vain.

Wars, conflicts and disputes:

Pakistan is locked in other territorial disputes with India such as the Siachen Glacier and Kori Creek. Pakistan is also currently having dialogue with India regarding the Baglihar Dam being built over the River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indus Waters Treaty governs the rivers that flow from India into Pakistan. Water is cited as one possible cause for a conflict between the two nations, but to date issues such as the Nimoo Bazgo Project have been resolved through diplomacy.

Reference: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~nmonasch/pakistan-india%20conflict.html

India and Pakistan: Tense neighbours

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Comments (5)

It sounds like a real mess of religious, ethnic and territorial conflict--Another lasting colonial legacy of the Bloody British.  LOL.  I was British myself until I became a naturalized U.S. citizen at age 19.  I won't say how long ago that was.  Thanks for a very thorough explanation of this complex issue.  The area is so beautiful, it is certainly worth fighting for.  

It's unfortunate that there are several such instances like this in our world today.  I'm not sure these conflicts will ever be resolved.

Wow, this is really well presented.  Excellent work.

Ranked #9 in History

Well presented article on the history of this part of the world.

Excellent write up....It is interesting to note that India has a larger muslim population than the entire state of Pakistan..however, in Pakistan even the few remaining Hindus are threatened and there is a long que of Hindus wanting to come back to India,,,

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