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Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts

New Delhi, Oct 3, 2016: Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of modern States of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs.

Updated:Sunday, October 2, 2016, 21:40

Indo-Pakistani wars and conflictsNew Delhi, Oct 3, 2016: Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of modern States of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs.

The Kashmir issue has been the main cause, whether direct or indirect, of all major conflicts between the two countries with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 where conflict originated due to turmoil in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
This is also called the First Kashmir War. The war started in October 1947 when Pakistan feared that the Maharajah of the princely stateof Kashmir and Jammu would accede to India. Following partition, states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population ruled by the Hindu MaharajaHari Singh. Tribal forces with support from the army of Pakistan attacked and occupied parts of the princely state forcing the Maharajah to sign the Agreement to the accession of the princely state to the Dominion of India to get Indian military aid. The UN Security Council passed the Resolution 47 on 22 April 1948. The fronts solidified gradually along what came to be known as the Line of Control. A formal cease-fire was declared at 23:59 on the night of 1 January 1949.

India gained control of about two-third of the state including (Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh) whereas Pakistan gained roughly a third of Kashmir (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan).

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
This war started following Pakistan`s Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. India retaliated by launching a full-scale military attack on West Pakistan.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
This war was unique in the way that it did not involve the issue of Kashmir, but was rather precipitated by the crisis created by the political battle brewing in erstwhile East Pakistan between Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Leader of East Pakistan, and Yahya Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, leaders of West Pakistan. This would culminate in the declaration of Independence of Bangladesh from the state system of Pakistan. Following Operation Searchlight and the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities, about 10 million Bengalis in East Pakistan took refuge in neighbouring India.India intervened in the ongoing Bangladesh liberation movement. After a large scale pre-emptive strike by Pakistan, full-scale hostilities between the two countries commenced.
Pakistan attacked at several places along India`s western border with Pakistan, but the Indian Army successfully held their positions. The Indian Army quickly responded to the Pakistan Army`s movements in the west and made some initial gains, including capturing around 5,795 square miles (15,010 km2) of Pakistan territory (land gained by India in Pakistani Kashmir, Pakistani Punjab and Sindh sectors but gifted it back to Pakistan in the Simla Agreement of 1972, as a gesture of goodwill). Within two weeks of intense fighting, Pakistani forces in East Pakistan surrendered to the joint command of Indian and Bangladeshi forces following which the People`s Republic of Bangladesh was created.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Commonly known as the Kargil War, this conflict between the two countries was mostly limited. During early 1999, Pakistani troops infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) and occupied Indian territory mostly in the Kargil district. India responded by launching a major military and diplomatic offensive to drive out the Pakistani infiltrators. Two months into the conflict, Indian troops had slowly retaken most of the ridges that were encroached by the infiltrators according to official count, an estimated 75%–80% of the intruded area and nearly all high ground was back under Indian control. Fearing large-scale escalation in military conflict, the international community, led by the United States, increased diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to withdraw forces from remaining Indian territory. Faced with the possibility of international isolation, the already fragile Pakistani economy was weakened further. The morale of Pakistani forces after the withdrawal declined as many units of the Northern Light Infantry suffered heavy casualties. The government refused to accept the dead bodies of many officers, an issue that provoked outrage and protests in the Northern Areas. Pakistan initially did not acknowledge many of its casualties, but Nawaz Sharif later said that over 4,000 Pakistani troops were killed in the operation and that Pakistan had lost the conflict. By the end of July 1999, organized hostilities in the Kargil district had ceased.

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