| Background to India and Pakistan conflict
|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% (http://www.kashmir.force9.co.uk/index.htm).
|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 (http://www.subcontinent.com/1971war/1971war.html).
York Times Index for India Pakistan