Chronology of India-Pakistan Wars
By YesPakistan.com Staff
India and Pakistan are currently in the spotlight as the two countries threaten
to go to war with each other. However, this is not the first time the rivals,
who both gained independence from Britain in 1947, butted heads.
The first war between India and Pakistan was fought from 1947 to 1948 and resulted
in about 1,500 deaths. This war was over control of Kashmir, which, to this
day, is disputed territory. Eventually a ceasefire was agreed upon via United
Nations mediation and the war ended in January 1949 with a promise to Kashmiris
that they will choose about their future.
The second war was also fought over Kashmir and began on Pakistan's eighteenth
birthday in 1965. Kahsmiri protests against Indian rule broke out following
the theft of a sacred relic in Srinagar. In June that year, many Pakistanis
entered Kashmir as a gesture of support. India branded this action infiltration
and Indian army attacked to capture Pakistanis city of Lahore. Fighting broke
out in early September, but the United Nations called for a ceasefire on September
20, to which both sides agreed to two days later. In this war, India suffered
about 3,000 casualties and Pakistan about 3,800. After the ceasefire, a meeting
between the Indian prime minister and the Pakistani president was held in Tashkent
in Central Asia to negotiate a settlement. Both agreed to return to their original
borders but the underlying causes of the Kashmir dispute were never resolved.
The split between East and West Pakistan was the result of the third war between
India and Pakistan. After Pakistan held nationwide elections in December 1970,
the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujiber Rehman won an overwhelming majority in
East Pakistan, the Pakistan People's Party of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto won in West
Pakistan. However, talks to decide how the two wings of the country would share
power broke down two months later and resulted in East Pakistanis pushing for
more independence. In response, the Pakistani army cracked down on Dhaka, the
capital of East Pakistan, leading to hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding
into the adjacent Indian State of West Bengal from East Pakistan.
India supported the separatist movement with arms and then finally attacked
East Pakistan defeating Pakistan resulting in the creation of Bangladesh.
Although this was three were the official war between the two countries, there
have been other recent instances where India and Pakistan have come very close
to the same.
The Rann of Kutch: April 1965
A clash between border patrols erupted into fighting in the Rann of Kutch, a
region along the south-western Indo-Pakistani border. India was forced to retreat
after intense fighting, Pakistan claimed victory.
Siachen Glacier 1984
The 6,000-meter high Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world.
It is located in the Karakoram Range System of Kashmir near the India - Pakistan
border, beyond the stern end of the Line of Control that defines Kashmir. Pakistan
controlled the area but in 1984, the Indian army arrived early in spring to
capture the unmened Pakistani side as well. Since then hundreds have died, less
from bullets but more from the harsh climate of the mountains in an effort from
Pakistan to defend territory. Musharraf has said that any settlement on Siachen
depends on a solution to Kashmir as whole. Daily, it costs India $10 million
and Pakistan $5 million to maintain their troops for the battle here.
Kargil May 1999
In May 1999, Kashmiri freedom fighters mounted into the Indian-controlled Kargil
region of Kashmir. The resulting battle led to India loosing thousands of soldiers,
according to US military intelligence.
Pakistan forced the Kashmiri freedom fighters to withdraw under American pressure,
but the incursion successfully brought back world attention to the issue of
Kashmir, which had been almost forgotten. India accused Pakistan of planning
the infiltration which may be true since the nature of the capture was exactly
the same as Siachen Glacier, capturing a position which is traditionally not
monitored during the winter from any side.
Date/Time Last Modified: 6/18/2002 8:05:48 AM
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