India-Pakistan Wars

India-Pakistan Wars,

name given to the series of conflicts between IndiaIndia,
officially Republic of India, republic (2015 est. pop. 1,309,054,000), 1,261,810 sq mi (3,268,090 sq km), S Asia. The second most populous country in the world, it is also sometimes called Bharat, its ancient name. India's land frontier (c.
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 and PakistanPakistan
, officially Islamic Republic of Pakistan, republic (2015 est. pop. 189,381,000), 310,403 sq mi (803,944 sq km), S Asia. Pakistan is bordered by India on the east, the Arabian Sea on the south, Iran on the southwest, and Afghanistan on the west and north; in the
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 since 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was partitioned and the two countries became independent of Great Britain. The most violent outbreaks came in 1947–48, 1965, and 1971. The roots of the conflicts lie in the hostility between Hindus and Muslims and, initially, in the disposition of self-governing princely states.

The 1947–48 War

The first war arose over KashmirKashmir
, region and former princely state, 85,714 sq mi (222,236 sq km), NW India, NE Pakistan, and SW China. Kashmir is bordered on the west by Pakistan, on the south by India, and on the north and east by China.
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, in NW India, in 1947 when Muslim subjects revolted and were supported by Pakistani troops. The Hindu ruler appealed to India for aid, agreeing to cede the state to India in return. India moved quickly to consolidate its position in Kashmir, pushing Pakistan's "volunteers" back. Conflicts also arose in the Punjab and in Bengal. The undeclared war in Kashmir continued until Jan. 1, 1949, when a truce was arranged through UN mediation; negotiations between India and Pakistan began and lasted until 1954 without resolving the Kashmir problem. Pakistan controlled part of the area, Azad (Free) Kashmir, while India held most of the territory, which it annexed in 1957.

The 1965 War

The second war began in Apr., 1965, when fighting broke out in the Rann of Kachchh, a sparsely inhabited region along the West Pakistan–India border. In August fighting spread to Kashmir and to the Punjab, and in September Pakistani and Indian troops crossed the partition line between the two countries and launched air assaults on each other's cities. After threats of intervention by China had been successfully opposed by the United States and Britain, Pakistan and India agreed to a UN-sponsored cease-fire and withdrew to the pre-August lines. Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur ShastriShastri, Shri Lal Bahadur
, 1904–66, Indian political leader. He joined Mohandas Gandhi's noncooperation movement in 1921 and studied at the nationalist Kashi Vidyapeth school, where he was given the title Shastri [learned in the scriptures].
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 of India and President Ayub KhanAyub Khan, Muhammad
, 1907–74, military leader and president (1958–69) of Pakistan. He was commissioned in the British Indian army in 1928 and saw active service as a battalion commander in World War II.
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 of Pakistan met in Tashkent, USSR (now in Uzbekistan), in Jan., 1966, and signed an agreement pledging continued negotiations and respect for the cease-fire conditions. After the Tashkent Declaration another period of relative peace ensued.

The 1971 War

Indo-Pakistani relations deteriorated when civil war erupted in Pakistan, pitting the West Pakistan army against East Pakistanis demanding greater autonomy. The fighting forced 10 million East Pakistani Bengalis to flee to India. When Pakistan attacked Indian airfields in Kashmir, India attacked both East and West Pakistan. It occupied the eastern half, which declared its independence as BangladeshBangladesh
[Bengali,=Bengal nation], officially People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic (2015 est. pop. 161,201,000), 55,126 sq mi (142,776 sq km), S Asia. Bangladesh borders on the Bay of Bengal in the south; on the Indian states of West Bengal in the west and north, Assam
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, on Dec. 6, 1971. Under great-power pressure, a UN cease-fire was arranged in mid-December, after Pakistan's defeat. Pakistan lost its eastern half, an army of 100,000 soldiers, and was thrown into political turmoil. Zulfikar Ali BhuttoBhutto, Zulfikar Ali
, 1928–79, Pakistani political leader. Member of a wealthy landowning family, he entered politics as the protégé of General Ayub Khan. Bhutto joined the cabinet in 1958, becoming foreign minister in 1963.
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 emerged as leader of Pakistan, and Mujibur RahmanMujibur Rahman
, 1921–75, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) political leader, prime minister of Bangladesh (1972–75), popularly known as Sheikh Mujib. Concerned that East Pakistan was unfairly dominated by West Pakistan, he helped found (1949) the Awami League to fight
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 as prime minister of Bangladesh. Tensions were alleviated by the Shimla accord of 1972, and by Pakistan's recognition of Bangladesh in 1974, but tensions have periodically recurred.


See A. Lamb, Crisis in Kashmir, 1947–1966 (1966); W. N. Brown, The United States and India, Pakistan, Bangladesh (1972); S. Ganguly, The Origins of War in South Asia (1986); R. Sisson, War and Secession (1990).

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References in periodicals archive ?
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