There have been several wars since independence in 1947.

During British rule the two countries were part of the same territory. The sudden split into two countries left several disputed frontiers, especially in Kashmir and at the Rann of Cutch.

Also, although many Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan (a large proportion being massacred on the way) and almost all the Hindus to India, there is still a large Muslim minority in India. Riots against them can lead to tension with Pakistan.

India exploded at least one nuclear device in 1974 and seven in 1998 and Pakistan then also tested nuclear weapons, possibly paid for by oil-rich Arab countries.

Pakistani troops, possibly Afghan Talibans, occupied high mountain Indian positions during the early months of 1999. They were ejected after a period of artillery fire.

Following the war in Afghanistan after the World Trade Center attack in September 2001 the tension between India and Pakistan intensified, exacerbated by an attack in the Indian Parliament, possibly by Kashmiri activists. Only western diplomacy may have averted an all-out war. The situation is still tense (early 2002).

By 2005 the two governments seem to be determined on peace and rail and bus links have been opened across the borders.

Terrorist attacks on trains in Bombay (Mumbai), and in hotels and railway stations, seem to be directed by dissident groups in Pakistan (Lashkar e Taiba). Possibly Lashkar wishes to provoke a further war between India and Pakistan, but so far has failed as both governments have cooperated, to some extent, in catching the instigators.

Last revised 20/02/10


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