India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Status
Medium-intensity

Conflict Summary

Since the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the ambiguous status of Kashmir has been a source of conflict. The first Indo–Pakistani war over the territory in 1947 left it partitioned between Pakistan and India, and the second in 1965 failed to shift the dividing Line of Control (LoC). India faces opposition to its rule from many of Kashmir’s majority Muslim population – which is why it sees Kashmir as an internal matter as opposed to Pakistan’s view of it as an international dispute. Organised militancy in Indian-administered Kashmir has increased significantly since the 1980s, allegedly with the support of the Pakistani government, and with the acquisition of nuclear weapons by both sides the potential destructiveness of the conflict has escalated. The infiltration by Pakistan-backed guerrillas into Indian Kashmir in 1999 resulted in the Kargil conflict, in which ten weeks of fighting took place as the Indian government took on the rebels. Diplomatic pressure on both Pakistan and India to demilitarise the tense border areas eventually resulted in a ceasefire along the LoC negotiated in November 2003, and transport links across it have steadily increased. However, high-level dialogue on Kashmir was put on hold after India blamed Pakistan for providing a launch pad for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Since mid-2008, civil unrest has also increased in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as locals protest about the behaviour of the security forces in the region. Though violence has subsided in recent years, Pakistani and Indian forces continue to engage in regular skirmishes. The most recent outbreak of violence occurred in mid-2014, and has continued into 2015.