India and Pakistan
No two countries in the world have so much in common as India and Pakistan. Yet they have perpetually been in a state of undeclared war with varying degree of intensity.
Pakistan's aggression in Kargil (1999) brought the two countries even on the verge of a nuclear confrontation.
During the freedom struggle the Muslim League, under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah propounded the two-nation theory, in support of a separate Muslim state. Jinnah insisted that since Hindus and Muslims were two communities two separate states must be constituted for the two communities.
The Kashmir Issue
Pakistan developed a perception that it is an incomplete state without Kashmir being incorporated into it. On the other hand, India perceives Kashmir's accession and integration into India as an essential element of its secular and federal democratic structure.
At the time of partition Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was one of those several princely states the fate of which was left uncertain in 1947. Pakistan desired that Kashmir with Muslim majority population should join Muslim country Pakistan.
Maharaja Hari Singh did not take a decision until Pakistan sent armed intruders into the Kashmir valley in October 1947. Seeking Indian help to repulse the Pakistani intruders Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession making Jammu and Kashmir a part of Indian Union.
To normalise relations India invited Pakistan for an agreement the result of which was the Shimla Pact of 1972. This Shimla agreement was the settlement of all bilateral problems including Kashmir mutually without the intervention of any third party.
Under the Shimla Pact the Kashmir issue cannot be raised in international or any other forum. The agreement also talked about the return of Prisoners of War (POW).
Though Pakistan's territory in India's possession was returned a new cease-fire line (in place of the old cease-fire line of 1948-49) was drawn which is known as the LoC.
Pakistan continues to encourage terrorist & separatist tendencies in Kashmir operating mainly from terrorist training camps situated in POK.
Nuclear Tests & Efforts towards Improvement of Relations
Indo Pakistan relations acquired an entirely new dimension in the context of nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in May 1998. India has agreed to bring Kashmir onto the agenda along with other areas of mutual benefits Pakistan conceded to bilateralism.
Despite the many issues and problems, the unconditional dialogue has always been resumed with Pakistan. The emphasis in these talks is to promote people to people contacts across LoC & improve economic ties between India and Pakistan.