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War and Military History
India
Pakistan

What caused India and Pakistan to go to war?

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September 13, 2011 10:18PM

It was mostly the prosecution of people due to their religion but there were politics involved also.

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Historically the Indian/Pakistan sub-continent has consisted of many different nations and religions with the first acknowledged civilization being the Indus Valley Empire which was founded about 3300 BC. Since then a huge number rulers of extremely diverse creeds, cultures and religions have taken charge of areas of the region until this melting pot of diversity was unified as part of the British Empire over a period of about 100 years from the mid 18th century onwards. India and Pakistan received independance on August 15th 1947 and, while previously the British had considered the entire area as one distinct province, during separation negotiations the local populace had other ideas as the British had imposed regional juristictions based on industrial growth and military expediancies rather than traditional ethnic or tribal boundaries. Eventually, after protracted discussion, the present boundaries emerged - there was a pronounced Muslim majority in the east of the province (now Pakistan) which was separated from the multi-religion (Hindu/Buddist/Muslim/Christian) West. This split was worsened further immediately before and after separation by 'ethnic cleansing' on both sides where Muslims in India were 'encouraged' to head east to Pakistan where non-Muslims were similarly made unwelcome there and fled to India. Historic bad feeling still runs deep because of religious differences as well as ancient territorial arguments. A major rift between the two is the lush province of Kashmir, which has been fought over for thousands of years by countries all around it and was an independent state for several centuries. Kashmiris on both sides want to see their province reunited but there are constant border skirmishes over which country should control the entire province. Interestingly, almost half of historic Kashmir is now part of the Democratic Republic of China but for some reason neither India or Pakistan want to make an issue of this which to me implies that other reasons are more central to their ongoing spat - even though the Kashmir question gets all the headlines.