10 August 2017

AP Explains: 70 years of India-Pakistan tensions unresolved

In this June 10, 1947 file photo, Viceroy of India Lord Louis Mountbatten, right, speaks with Muslim League leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah during conferences on India’s division in New Delhi. Jinnah appealed to Indians to carry out peacefully the British plan for dividing the country. The Muslim League formally adopted the plan on the night of June 9. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
When the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, they left a jigsaw legacy — the vast country of India flanked on either side by a newly created Pakistan split in two parts. Excitement over independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead as gangs of Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other.

As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.

Here’s a look at the troubled legacy of Partition:

FAMILIES DIVIDED
In this Aug. 15, 1948 file photo, an armed Gurkha towers over thousands Indians in a courtyard beneath the Red Fort celebrating the first anniversary of India’s independence, in New Delhi. Premier Pandit Jawarhalal Nehru addressed the throngs at the celebrations which included hoisting the Dominion flag, at lower right. When the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, they left a jigsaw legacy _ the vast country of India flanked on either side by a newly created Pakistan split in two parts. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.


India’s independence leaders had proposed a secular federation where Hindus and Muslims would live together. The Muslim League, representing the region’s 30 percent Muslim minority, said it wanted a separate nation to be free of perceived oppression by the Hindu majority.

Creating two independent nations, however, tore apart millions of
In this Sept. 17, 1947 file photo, Muslim refugees, evacuated from areas of unrest in New Delhi, take shelter in the corners of the ancient walls of Purana Qila, the old fort, in New Delhi, India. When the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, they left a jigsaw legacy _ the vast country of India flanked on either side by a newly created Pakistan split in two parts. Excitement over independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead as gangs of Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other.
Hindu and Muslim families in one of the world’s largest peacetime migrations. Many fled their homes and lost their property, never imagining that they would not be able to return. At least 15 million people were displaced.

As relations between India and Pakistan soured, travel restrictions and hostile bureaucracies kept many from crossing the border to visit family and friends. The countries make a few exceptions for religious pilgrimages, allowing small groups of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs to visit holy sites during religious festivals. Recently, New Delhi has allowed ailing Pakistanis to come to India for medical treatment.

NUCLEAR BRINKMANSHIP
In this Jan. 23, 2009 file photo, a Brahmos missile is displayed at the Republic Day parade rehearsal in New Delhi, India. India and Pakistan, which have gone to war three times, have not only built up their armies but also developed nuclear weapons. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.


India and Pakistan have fought three wars and built up their armies but also developed nuclear weapons.

India was the first to conduct a nuclear test in 1974. The test elicited an angry reaction from Pakistan, where Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto said his countrymen would be prepared to eat grass if they had to go nuclear.

India didn’t conduct nuclear tests again until 1998. Pakistan followed with its own nuclear tests just a few weeks later. Experts say the two sides have since armed themselves with hundreds of nuclear warheads as well as missile delivery systems.

THE KASHMIR QUESTION
In this Jan. 23, 2002 file photo, an Indian Border Security Force soldier stands guard as Kashmiri Muslims sit on the roadside during a cordon and search operation, to flush out any possible hidden separatist militants, in Srinagar, India. No issue has bedeviled India-Pakistan relations like the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.


No issue has bedeviled India-Pakistan relations like the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Soon after gaining independence, both sides claimed the majority-Muslim region in its entirety. Kashmir’s Hindu ruler wanted to stay independent, but local uprisings and a raid by Pakistani tribesmen drove the maharaja to seek assistance from Indian troops.

This spiraled into a yearlong war that ended with a U.N.-brokered ceasefire and Kashmir divided between the two young nations by the heavily militarized Line of Control.

Kashmiri discontent with Indian rule took root as successive governments reneged on a promise to allow a referendum. India and Pakistan fought a second war over Kashmir in 1965 that resulted in little change.

When a full-blown rebellion erupted in 1989, India deployed even more troops to the region. Thousands of Kashmiri fighters staged bloody attacks on Indian security forces and on pro-India Kashmiri politicians.

In the last decade, the rebellion has been suppressed and most anti-India sentiment is expressed in regular street protests by tens of thousands of civilians. They are sometimes quelled by deadly force.

GLACIER BATTLEGROUND
This Feb. 1, 2005 file photo shows an aerial view of an Indian army camp at Siachen Glacier, about 750 kilometers (469 miles) northwest of Jammu, India. Siachen Glacier, a 6,100-meter (20,000-foot) icy Himalayan expanse makes up the world’s highest battlefield. Thousands of troops have been deployed on the glacier since 1983, laying claim to territory so hostile to human life it has never even been demarcated. Far more troops have died from avalanches or bitter cold than in combat. While there are no clear borders on the glacier, its position between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions of Kashmir make it a key part of any final map that may be drawn of the region. Its high altitude gives its occupants an advantage over those below.


The Line of Control ends abruptly at Siachen Glacier, a 6,100-meter-high (20,000-foot-high) icy Himalayan expanse that is the world’s highest battlefield.

Thousands of troops have been deployed on the glacier since 1984, laying claim to territory so hostile to human life it has never been demarcated. Far more troops have died from avalanches or bitter cold than in combat.

While there are no clear borders on the glacier, its position between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions of Kashmir makes it a key part of any final map that may be drawn of the region. Its high altitude gives its occupants an advantage over those below.

ELUSIVE PEACE
In this Feb. 20, 1999 file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, left, receives Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Wagah border near Lahore, Pakistan.In 1999, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee revived peace talks and took a groundbreaking bus ride to the Pakistani border town of Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. But less than four months later, Sharif’s army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, sent armed invaders into Kashmir to capture some mountain peaks. The move provoked two months of air strikes and ground attacks by India, ending after Sharif ordered the fighters to withdraw. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.


The many efforts to resolve their longstanding disputes have all, so far, been in vain.

In 1999, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee revived peace talks and took a groundbreaking bus ride to the Pakistani border town of Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif.

But less than four months later, Sharif’s army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, sent armed invaders into Kashmir to capture some mountain peaks. The move provoked two months of air strikes and ground attacks by India, ending after Sharif ordered the fighters to withdraw. Musharraf would go on to topple Sharif in a coup.

Negotiations were put on hold for years after five attackers infiltrated India’s Parliament and killed nine people in 2001. Relations were further strained in 2008 when Pakistani gunmen killed 166 on a rampage across Mumbai.

In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his term on a conciliatory note by inviting his Pakistani counterpart, again Nawaz Sharif, to his oath-taking ceremony.

The next year, Modi paid a surprise visit to Sharif’s home in Lahore. But the friendliness dissolved days later when gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, killed seven soldiers at an Indian air force base. Months later, Modi ordered a surgical strike on alleged insurgents inside Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, and vowed to isolate Islamabad diplomatically.

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism, a charge Pakistan denies. Peace talks are unlikely to resume any time soon.

CHINA TO THE NORTH

The rise of China as an economic powerhouse has further strained India-Pakistan relations. Beijing has long supported Islamabad, creating additional strategic and military concerns for New Delhi. China offered financial and technological help to Pakistan in developing its nuclear and missile programs. Now it is developing a major highway and port in Pakistan as part of an effort to link China with the Middle East and Europe.

Global alignments have tested India-Pakistan ties before. During the Cold War, a U.S. tilt toward Pakistan led India to turn to the Soviet Union for support, military hardware and defense technology.

Today, India maintains strong ties with both the United States and Russia, making it unlikely that any potential conflict with Pakistan would stay between the South Asian neighbors.

“Indian strategy under Narendra Modi should be to ensure that major external powers such as Russia and the United States continue to remain in its corner to ward off the possibility of a two-front war by China and Pakistan against India,” said Sreeram Chaulia, professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs.

(AP)
In this Nov. 9, 1947 file photo, Indian Sikh troops take up roadside positions on the Baramula Road to help force invaders further away from the Kashmir capital, Srinagar. A raid by armed tribesmen from north-western Pakistan forced Maharaja Hari Singh of the Himalayan kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir to seek help from India, which offered military assistance on the condition that the kingdom accede to India. The ruler accepted but insisted that the region would remain a largely autonomous state within the Indian union, with India managing its foreign affairs, defense, and telecommunication. The Indian military entered the region soon after, and the tribal raid spiraled into the first of two wars between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. The war ended in 1948 with a United Nations brokered ceasefire.As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
In this Nov. 9, 1947 file photo, Indian Sikh troops take up roadside positions on the Baramula Road to help force invaders further away from the Kashmir capital, Srinagar. A raid by armed tribesmen from north-western Pakistan forced Maharaja Hari Singh of the Himalayan kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir to seek help from India, which offered military assistance on the condition that the kingdom accede to India. The ruler accepted but insisted that the region would remain a largely autonomous state within the Indian union, with India managing its foreign affairs, defense, and telecommunication. The Indian military entered the region soon after, and the tribal raid spiraled into the first of two wars between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. The war ended in 1948 with a United Nations brokered ceasefire.As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.                                         
In this June 11, 1998 file photo, Indian soldiers fire artillery shells on Pakistani posts in Siachen glacier sector about 404 miles (650kms) north of the Kashmir city of Srinagar. Firing in Siachen increased after India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests the previous month. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
In this June 11, 1998 file photo, Indian soldiers fire artillery shells on Pakistani posts in Siachen glacier sector about 404 miles (650kms) north of the Kashmir city of Srinagar. Firing in Siachen increased after India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests the previous month. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.                          
In this July 10, 1999 file photo, Indian artillery guns are engulfed in smoke in Dras, some 155 kilometers (96 miles) north of Srinagar, India as Indian troops fight Pakistani intruders in the disputed Kashmir. In 1999, less than four months after Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee revived peace talks and took a groundbreaking bus ride to the Pakistani border town of Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, Sharif’s army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, sent armed invaders into Kashmir to capture some mountain peaks. The move provoked two months of air strikes and ground attacks by India, ending after Sharif ordered the fighters to withdraw.
In this July 10, 1999 file photo, Indian artillery guns are engulfed in smoke in Dras, some 155 kilometers (96 miles) north of Srinagar, India as Indian troops fight Pakistani intruders in the disputed Kashmir. In 1999, less than four months after Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee revived peace talks and took a groundbreaking bus ride to the Pakistani border town of Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, Sharif’s army chief, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, sent armed invaders into Kashmir to capture some mountain peaks. The move provoked two months of air strikes and ground attacks by India, ending after Sharif ordered the fighters to withdraw.
In this May 27, 2014 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, walks to shake hand with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India. Modi began his term on a conciliatory note by inviting his Pakistani counterpart, again Nawaz Sharif, to his oath-taking ceremony. The next year, Modi paid a surprise visit to Sharif’s home in Lahore. But the friendliness dissolved days later when gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, killed seven soldiers at an Indian air force base. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
In this May 27, 2014 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, walks to shake hand with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India. Modi began his term on a conciliatory note by inviting his Pakistani counterpart, again Nawaz Sharif, to his oath-taking ceremony. The next year, Modi paid a surprise visit to Sharif’s home in Lahore. But the friendliness dissolved days later when gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, killed seven soldiers at an Indian air force base. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
In this Jan. 4, 2016 file photo, Indian soldiers stand guard outside an airbase near the Pakistan border that was attacked by gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan in Pathankot, India. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his term on a conciliatory note by inviting his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, to his oath-taking ceremony. The next year, Modi paid a surprise visit to Sharif’s home in Lahore. But the friendliness dissolved days later when gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, killed seven soldiers at the Indian air force base. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.
In this Jan. 4, 2016 file photo, Indian soldiers stand guard outside an airbase near the Pakistan border that was attacked by gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan in Pathankot, India. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his term on a conciliatory note by inviting his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, to his oath-taking ceremony. The next year, Modi paid a surprise visit to Sharif’s home in Lahore. But the friendliness dissolved days later when gunmen, allegedly from Pakistan, killed seven soldiers at the Indian air force base. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.
In this Feb 23, 2016 file photo, activists of Jammu and Kashmir Dogra front shout slogans and burn Pakistani national flag during a protest against militants attack in Pampore in Kashmir where nine people were killed in Jammu, India. No issue has bedeviled India-Pakistan relations like the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.
In this Feb 23, 2016 file photo, activists of Jammu and Kashmir Dogra front shout slogans and burn Pakistani national flag during a protest against militants attack in Pampore in Kashmir where nine people were killed in Jammu, India. No issue has bedeviled India-Pakistan relations like the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment