The ongoing conflict between Moslems and Hindus dates back to Muslim invasions establisjing the Delhi Sultanate (13th century) and then Mogul invasions (16th century). Many Indians converted to Islam under Mogul rule. There were economic advantages. Some Mongul emperors forced conversion. In addition, Islam offered relief from untouchibility. Areas of northern and eastern India in particular became strongly Muslim. After the decline of Mogol Empire tensions developed between Muslim and Hindu communities. This was kept in check by the British Raj, altjhough the British also played on this division in administering India. The current conflict dates from the independence of India after World War II. Lord Mountbatten was sent to India by Britain's post-War Labour Government to be the last Viceroy and oversee independence. India's independence was achieved by the Congress Party. Ghandi through the Congress Party had promoted the idea of a secular Indian state in which people of all faiths could live harmoniously. Muslims were an important part of the Congress Party coalition. In the negotiations over independence, Muslim leader Jenna decided that Muslims needed a separate state--Pakistan. Britain granted India independence August 15, 1947. Inter-communal rioting in 1947 resulted in hundred of thousands of deaths if not million as Muslims fled from India and Hindus from Pakistan--one of the largest migrations in history. Thousands more died in violence as these collums foraged or food and were set upom by villagers also inflamed by religious and national zealotry. The two collumns also fought with each other. The flash point for armed conflict between India and Pakistan was Kasmir. The formula agreed to by Congress and the British was that the aristocratic rulers were allowed to chose whether to join India or Pakistan. This was a complicated process as colonial India was composed of 565 separate states. Pakistan expected Kashmir to affiliate with their country because of the majority Muslim population. Local extremists supported by Pakistan attempted to seize control. Kashmir's Hindu maharajah decided to affiliate with India and pleaded for military support. The result was the first India-Pakistan War. United Nations Resolutions in 1948 and 50 called for a referendum, but India has never allowed this. Pakistan since 1989 has supported a violent insurgency in Kashmir. The conflict has been further complicated in the 1990s. Both India and Pakistan developed and tested nuclear weapons. Hindu nationalists have defeated Congress in Indian elections. Since the 9-11 attacks, the Pakistani Government has reassessed its support of terroism in Khasmir, but Islamacists in Pakistan object to this and other actions by the country's secular Government, especially cooperation with America on the war against terrorism.
The ongoing conflict betwwen Moslems and Hindus dated back to Mongul invasions of the 16th century. Many Indians converted to Islam under Mongul rule. There were economic advantages. Some Mongul emperors forced conversion. In addition, Islam offered relief from untouchibility. Areas of northern and eastern India in particular became strongly Muslim. After the decline of Mogol Empire tensions developed between Muslim and Hindu communities.
The Britsh and French contested control over India in the 18th century. The issue was largely settled by the dominance of the Royal Navy. British victories in Indua diring the Seven Years War essentially ousted the French from the sib-continent. Gradually India expanded its control over all of India as well as modern Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Burma. The British accomplished all of this with an incredibly small military force. This was in part because they were largely replacing Muslim rulers who India's Hindu massess saw as juat as foreign as the English. India was by far Britain's most important colony--the jewel in the Crown. Tensions between Hindus and Muslims were kept in check by the British Raj, altjhough the British also played on this division in administering India.
The Indian struggle for independence began in earest after World War I (1914-18). Mahatma Gahandi inspired the Indian people in an unorthodox independence movement led by the Congress Party. Congress included both Muslim and Hindu leaders. Largely through Ghandi's influence it was a non-violent movement. The independence movement led by Mahatma Ghandi and the Congress Party gained considerable strength during the 1920s and 30s.
The British by 1939 were having increasing difficulties governing India. The Congress Party while refusing to support the War efort, decided not to actively oppose Britain or to take advantage of British defeats in the early stages of the War. Some Indian POWs taken by the Japanese were recruited by anti-British nationalists and formed the Free Indian Army. Under Subhashchandra Bose, they fought alongside the Japanese in Burma. Overall, India played an important part in the Allied war effort. Indian units fought with other British Empire forces in both the Pacific and European theaters. About 2.5 million Indians (including modern Pakistan) were mobilized. Some Indian units played important roles in the early stages of the War before Britain had fully mobilized and American joined the War. The Fifth Indian Division ngaged the Italians in the Sudan ans subsequently the Germans in the western Desert. The Indians played a major role in quelling a pro-NAZI revolt in Iraq. A successful revolt would have cut the British off from the Iraqi oil fields whigh would have undermined the naval and land defenses of Egypt and the Suez Canal. the Division along with eight other Indian Divisions fought in Burma. After the Japanese surrender, the Indian forces then disarmed the Japanese forces in Malayia and Java. India provided important bases for the recinquest of Burma and delivering supplied to the Chinese. India also was a source of food and other supplies for British and Commonwealth forces as well as the British homefront.
The Raj included colonial India was composed of 565 separate states. During World war Ii, they for the mist part had been islands of support within an indi that was clearly moving toward independence. At the time of independence there was no agreement as to which country each princly state would join. The formula agreed to by Congress and the British was that the aristocratic rulers were allowed to chose whether to join India or Pakistan. It was assumed that their choice would be goverened by both geogrphy and the religion of the majority of the population. Obviously a principality in the middle of India with a majority Hindu popiulation would join India and prinipalities in Pakistan with a majority Muslim population would join Pakistan. This formulae worked well, although some of the Maharajas were reluctant anout independence. They knew that in an independent India that they would have to give up their power and perogatives.
The current conflict between India and Pakistan dates from the independence of India after World War II. Lord Mountbatten was sent to India by Britain's post-War Labour Government to be the last Viceroy and oversee independence. His wife Edwina played an important role in partnership with her husband, a rather complicated relationship. India's independence was achieved by the Congress Party. Ghandi through the Congress Party had promoted the idea of a secular Indian state in which people of all faiths could live harmoniously. Muslims were an important part of the Congress Party coalition. Here both Ghandi and Nehru played central roles. The two admired each other and were close friends, but did not agree on many issues. In the negotiations over independence, Muslim leader Jenna decided that Muslims needed a separate state--Pakistan. Britain granted India independence August 15, 1947 and two states were creates--Undia and Pakistan. Inter-communal rioting in 1947 resulted in hundred of thousands of deaths if not more than a million. There was no accurte accounting. Muslims fled from India and Hindus from Pakistan--one of the largest migrations in history. Thousands more died in violence as these collumns foraged or food and were set upom by villagers also inflamed by religious and national zealotry. The two collumns also fought with each other. The British have been criticised for leaving India before key aspects of independence, such as the facr of the princely states had been finalized. At the time, however, the Indians were pressing for independence.
Kashmir is the northern most area of India and part of northwest Pakistan. It has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. It developed into one of the most intractable international issues in the post-World War II era. It served as the flash point for armed conflict between India and Pakistan. Kasmir was the only exception to the peaceful resolution of the princely state problem. It was located between Pkistan and India. And it had a Hindu Mahraja, but a largely Muslim population. Pakistan because of the majority Muslim population expected Kashmir to affiliate with their country. About 75 percent od the population was Muslim. It is a fair statement that a substantial majority of the people in Kashmir favored joining Pakistan.
The conflict over Kashmir led to the first India-Pakistan War. Kashmir's Hindu Maharajah wanted to retain power and instead of affiliation with either India or Pakistan demanded autonomy. Local Muslims attempted to seize control. The degree of Pakistani involvement in the initial uprising is disputed, but Pakistan used the revolt as a pretext to intervene. The Muslim uprising and Pakistani intervention caused the Hindu Mahraja to finally decide to affiliate with India and pleaded for Indian military support. The Indian Government in what seems to have been the generally agreed principles of partition, India intervened and drive out the Pakistani troops. Kashmir was incorporated to India, but Pakistn refused to accept this. United Nations Resolutions in 1948 and 50 called for a referendum, but India has never allowed this.
The short 1962 Sino-Indian War is also called the Sino-Indian Border Conflict by those desiring to deephasize this conflict in the high Himilayas. The long remote 3,225-kilometer-long Himalayan border between India and Tibet was not well defined. It inincluded a western area (west of Nepal), short central area (between Nepal and Bhutan), and eastern area (east of Bhutan). The border was not a significant problem until Cimmunist China seized control of Tibet (1959). The border was not the only problem and some authors refer to it as a pretext. Border incidents occurred after the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the Chinese. India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama. They also initiated a Forward Policy, placing outposts along the border. Several were located north of the McMahon Line (eastern border area). This was the eastern portion of the Line of Actual Control proclaimed by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1959. When diplomatic efforts to resolve the ussue stalled, the Chinese without warning launched simultaneous offensives both in Ladakh and aklso along the McMahon Line (October 20, 1962). This occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis and this received relatively little oress coverage. Chinese troops drove Indian forces back in both border areas. They took Rezang la in Chushul (western area) and Tawang (eastern area). The war ended as abruptly as it began. China declared a ceasefire (November 20). And they withdrew from the disputed area. The Sino-Indian War is notable for two militaruy aspects. It ws the most significant war fought at such high sltutudes meaning exceeding harsh consitions. Most of the fighting occurred at altitudes over 4,250 metres (14,000 feet). And as this was in exceedingly remote areas, both sides encountered serious logistical problems. Both countries decided to limit the scale of the conflict. Neither used either its navl or air forces in the fighting. The Chinese invasion surprised the Pakisranis as much as th Indians, who also had a Himilayan border with Tibet. The poor perfirmance of the Indian Army probably led the Pkistanis to believe that a well executed strike might suceeded in seizing Kashmir before the Indians could respond.
Kashmir was important to India, for Pakistan it was an obsession, their primary international policy goal. Pakistan and the United States signed a Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) (1964). The United States was primarily concerned with acquiring Ciold War allies to resist the Soviets and Communism in Asia. The Pakistanis were less concerned with the cold War and primarily focused on Kashmir and India. The Indian Army's poor performance in the Himalayas against Chima as well as Indian progress in integrating Kashmir were both factors in the Pakistani calculations. The security agreement with the United States provided Pskistan access to modern arms, including tanks, as well as some hope the United Sttes would back it. The Pakistanis pledged to not use the arms obtained aginst India, but this provision of the MDA could be muddled if India coild be made to look like the agressor. Pakistan thus with new Amerucan weaponry began preparaions for a Second Indo-Pakistani War. The chose tio begin in the desolate Rann of Kutch along the Arabian Sea coastal border areas (January 1965). The Pakistanis began aggresive patroling. Actual fighting broke out on a small scale. The Pakistanis had two objectives. First to see how the United States would react to a vilolation of the mutual defene agreement. Second to draw Indian armor away from Khashmir and the north. British Primeminister Harold Wilson helped to negotite a ceasfire. After this hawks in the Pakistani Army as well as key officials (led by Z.A. Bhutto) pressured cautious Preimeminister Ayub Khan to move on Khasmir. The Primeminister was acused of cowardice, Senior Pakistani Army comanders convinced themselves that one Pakistani soldier was worth four Indian soldiers. Pakistan broke the ceasefire in Kashmir and without any formal declaration of war, the new Pakistani tanks and a force of about 30,000 men outfitted as Kashmiri rebels drove into Kashmir (August 5). They heded for the major cities. The Pakistanis calculated that the largely Muslim Kashmiri population would rise up to support them. The local response, however, was muted. Indian forces, lerted by the local populace, crossed the cease fire line (August 15). Infantry and armor fought engagements throughout Kashmir, but not yet outside the province. The Pakistani plan to quickly seize the province failed. Each country also committed their air forces. It was Pakistan that decided to widen the War. Pakistani forces attacked Ackhnur (early-September). The Indians decided to escalated the conflict by attacking targets within Pakistan itself. This is what Ayub Khan had feared. The Indian Army decided not to fight the Pakistani's just in Kashmir whre it was difficult to deploy their forces. Instead they launched a massive invasion of West Pakistan proper. The Pakistanis were forced to pull units out of Kashmir to resist the massive Indian offensive further south. The climatic engagement of the war occurred in the Sialkot region. Some 400-600 tanks fought a massive battle. The battle, however, was indecisive. A U.N. mandated ceasefire was arranged. Both sides quickly agreed, in part because the fighting was stalemated, The Pakistanis not only misjudged India's reaction, but also American reaction. The United States concluded that Pakistan had launched the war, declared itself neutral and refused to come to Pakistan's assistance under the terms of the 1964 MDA. The Americans also cut iff arms deliveries. The Pakistanis saw this as a betrayal. Given the country's dependance on American weapons, this meant that they coukd not fight an extended War. and in any long war if attritiin with India, Pakistan would lose. Fighting ended (September 22). Several Muslim countries supported Pakistan (Indonesia and Iran) as well as China supported Pakistan politically. The Soviets helped negotiate the ceasefire arrangement. The Soviet post-Khrushchev leadership, rather than stroingly backing India with which it had close relations declared itself neutral. The Soviets offered their good offices at Tashkent, leading to an armistice. The Tashkent Declaration restored the status quo ante belum (January 1966).
Pakistan at the time of independence was a two-part state. The first two wars between India and Pakistan over Kashmir were largely fought in the west as this was where Khasmir was located. India did not attack East Pakistan which had been created in Bengal. And Pakistan did not launch major attacks from East Pakistan. The Begalis in East Pakistan did not share the hostility toward India that was prominent in West Pakistan. The one factor that had held East and West Pakistan together was fear of Indian expansion. After the fitst two Indo-Pakistan wars, it became clear to Bengalis that India did not harbor territorial ambitions in Bengal. Thus after 1965, Bengalis claiming West Pakistani economic exploitation began agitating for greater autonomy. (Pakistan complained with both justification and hypocracy that India did not allow elections in Kashmir, but itself refused to allow elections in East Pakistan.) Popular unrest forced Pakistan to hold general elections, the first such elections since independence (1970). The elections were won by the Awami League which had led the agitation for greater autonomy. The Pakistani Government refused to turn power over to a civilian governmented headed by the Awami League. West Pakistan invaded East Pakistan to maintain control (March 1971). This led to a protracted and brutal civil war between East and West Pakistan. The Pakistani Army proved savage in its treatment of civilians who they saw as sympathetic to the Awami League. The Army commited horendous attrocities. Millions of Bengalis fled into India. India itself did not intervene, but provided military equipment and supplies to the Bengali resistance. Pakistan decided to force a conclusion and launched a preemtive air strike on India launching the Third Indo-Pakistani War (December 3, 1971). The Soviet Union used its veto in the U.N. Security Council to ensure rthat there would be no ceasfire until India achieved its military objectives. The war led to the separation of East Pakistan and the creation of a new state--Bangladesh. Even after the fighting ceased, there were major problems. The war created large numbers of refugees. In addition, there were problems with the POW exchanges.
After the Third Indo-Pakistani War, it became ckear to civilian and military authorities in Pakistan that the country could not win a conventional war with India. India began its nuclear program during World War II (March 1944). Dr. Homi Bhabha founded a nuclear research center, the Institute of Fundamental Research. This began a three-stage technological effort. India's loss of territory to China in the brief Sino-Indian border war fought in the Himilayas shocked the Indian Government (October 1962). This provided an impetus for developing nuclear weapons , primarily to deter possible Chinese aggression. India tested its first a nuclear device code-named 'Smiling Buddha' (1974). The Government called it a 'peaceful nuclear explosion'. In Pakistan, the loss of East Pakistan raised the specter of territorial losses in the west if they launched another war with India which was about to test its first atomic bomb. The result was the launching of a Pakistani nuclear progam to build an atomic bomb. Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto began Pakistan's atomic bomb project (January 1972). Bhutto tasked the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Munir Ahmad Khan, with the assignment. Abdul Qadeer Khan also joined the nuclear weapons program (1976). Zahid Ali Akbar headed the Kahuta Project, while the rest of the Pakistani program being run in PAEC. Munir Ahmad Khan ran more than 20 laboratories and projects all over the country. The first nuclear test was conducted (1998). India and Pakistan are adding more than 10 nuclear weapons to their substantial, arsenals annually. Some arms control experts believe that the greatest danger of nuclear warfare is not beteen the super-powers, terrorists, or rogue state, but between India and Pakistan. These two South Asian rivals as we discuss here have fought each other in three major wars and have engaged in frequent border clashes in recent years in the disputed Kashmir region, They came close to another all-out war as recently as 2002.
Pakistan since 1989 has supported a violent insurgency in Kashmir. The coinflict has been further complicated in the 1990s. Both India and Pakistan developed and tested nuclear weapons. Hindu nationalists have defeated Congress in Indian elections. Since the 9-11 attacks, the Pakistani Government has reassessed its support of terroism in Khasmir, but Islamacists in Pakistan object to this and other actions by the country's secular Government, especially cooperation with America on the war against terrorism.
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