Key dates in occupied Kashmir's bloody history

By AFP
Published: August 6, 2019
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Pakistani Kashmiri chant slogans during an anti-Indian protest at the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Kashmiri chant slogans during an anti-Indian protest at the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: India’s Hindu-nationalist government on Monday revoked occupied Kashmir’s special autonomy status under the constitution, sparking fears of increased bloodshed in the region.

Here is a timeline of major political and armed conflicts in the disputed Himalayan region where more than 70,000 people have been killed.

Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan are created after obtaining independence from British colonial rule.

The former Himalayan kingdom of Kashmir is divided between the two nations, and they almost immediately go to war for total control of the territory.

A United Nations-backed ceasefire line agreed by the two nations in July 1949 becomes a de facto frontier that remains today.

Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah is dismissed and imprisoned by New Delhi for almost 11 years over his support of the region’s independence. He eventually returns to power in 1975 to become the occupied state’s first chief minister after partition.

The constitution of occupied Jammu and Kashmir comes into force and gives the state a special position in India’s union.

Pakistan launches a war against India for control of Kashmir. It ends inconclusively after a ceasefire brokered by the then Soviet Union.

Pakistan rejects India’s decision to abolish occupied Kashmir special status

A new India-Pakistan war leads to the splitting away of East Pakistan, which becomes the independent state of Bangladesh. Following the conflict, the two nations sign the Simla Agreement and the ceasefire line becomes known as the Line of Control (LoC).

Maqbool Bhat, the founder of a leading political separatist group the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), is hanged in a New Delhi jail for murdering an intelligence officer.

An uprising breaks out against Indian occupation in held Kashmir, inflaming tensions with Pakistan. New Delhi imposes direct rule.

Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus – known as Pandits – flee to Hindu-dominated areas of the disputed region and other parts of India in the wake of an armed insurgency.

State assembly elections are held for the first time in seven years, but the contentious poll is marred by allegations of coercion by New Delhi.

It followed elections in 1987 that were marred by graft and foreshadowed an armed rebellion against Indian rule.

Freedom fighters raid Indian-occupied Kashmir’s Kargil sector, sparking a six-week conflict leading to the deaths of 1,000 combatants on both sides. The battle ends under US pressure.

The two nations agree to the 1999 Lahore declaration that called for a negotiated settlement of all issues, including Kashmir.

A summit between the Indian PM and Pakistani president in the northern India city of Agra collapses over the issue of Kashmir.

A new series of attacks in 2001 and 2002 lead to a new mobilisation of Indian and Pakistani troops at the de-facto border.

In November 2003 Pakistan declares a unilateral ceasefire along the LoC, leading to an inconclusive peace process the following year.

The state government plans to hand over a plot of land to a trust managing an annual pilgrimage, sparking claims of a Hindu takeover and anti-India protests. The transfer is later rescinded.

A bloody uprising over the death of three civilians sees more than a hundred killed in street protests.

The killing of a popular freedom fighter sparks months of street protests that leave more than a hundred dead.

Later in the year, an assault on an army base in occupied Kashmir near to the border kills 18 soldiers.

India claims its special commandos carried out a series of lightning strikes along the border with Pakistan in Kashmir, a claim Pakistan denied.

New Delhi vows retaliation after at least 40 paramilitaries are killed in a suicide attack in IoK.

The attack prompts tit-for-tat air action with at least two Indian Air Force jets shot down.

On August 5, the Indian government revokes occupied Kashmir’s special status, stripping it of the significant autonomy it has enjoyed for seven decades.

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