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The Indo-Pakistan Conflict refers to the tense relationship and subsequent cold war between the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Tensions were kicked off during The Partition of India back in 1947, which violently split the subcontinent into majority Hindu and Muslim regions, India and Pakistan respectively. Because of the nature of why it occurred, how it occurred, and the immediate conflict over Kashmir the very next year, the two sister nations relations were soured from birth. This tension would lead to two more massive wars and a couple of smaller skirmishes between the two nations. It also led both nations to pursue nuclear weapons, India getting it first in 1974 and Pakistan in 1998.


The overall conflict is best illustrated by the conflicts that made it up:

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1947-48 (AKA the First Kashmir War)

After the partition of India was ordered and with a timetable for the withdrawal of the British established, individual states that held mixtures of Hindu and Muslim citizens were faced with a difficult choice of how they would deal with the Partition especially when such regions bordered both countries. The individual princes of the states and their civil governments faced a no-win choice in many cases- but none was as difficult as that faced by Maharaja Hari Singh, Prince of Jammu and Kashmir. Hari Singh was personally a Hindu, as were many of his civil servants and security forces, but his region had predominantly Muslim citizens and was bordered by both India and Pakistan. If he followed his personal convictions and joined India, the Muslim population would potentially overthrow him or could face significant discrimination by Hindu-majority India. If he opted to join Pakistan, Hari Singh would no doubt be deposed by the Muslim government and the Hindu-minority in Kashmir would face similar discrimination.


So he tried to make his own independent nation instead. note 

Unfortunately, that idea didn't sit too well with the Pakistani leadership and they began making plans to change the status quo before the Maharaja could solidify his control. Their plan, Operation Gulmarg, involved sending roughly 1,000 armed Pashtun tribesmen from Waziristan to conquer Jammu and Kashmir as a "popular uprising", prompting a merger with Pakistan. The whole plan was set to go off in late October of 1947 with weapons and radio support to be provided by the Pakistani army.note 


As this plan was being set up, an unplanned uprising took place in the far western region of Kashmir called Poonch. The Muslim majority district had seen high taxation, high unemployment, and a wave of soldiers returning from fighting for the British in the Second World War. Soldiers that had been sent home with their rifles in hand. What exactly followed differs depending on which side you ask: Either the local Muslims launched a spontaneous protest in response to unpopular government agendas, were fired on by Hari Singh's Hindu troops, who then launched a widespread terror campaign against Muslim villages, and were forced to respond with an armed uprising and a request for Pakistani protection, OR the whole thing was a locally planned Muslim coup that proceeded with the tacit approval of Pakistan to aid in Operation Gulmarg, so we shall simply say that no matter what happened, the uprising ended with a Pakistani intervention, Hari Singh's troops stretched to their breaking point, and the incorporation of that particular region of Kashmir into Pakistan.

When Operation Gulmarg was kicked off and Kashmir's security forces were completely overwhelmed, Maharaja Hari Singh felt he had no other options at this point and requested direct Indian intervention to protect himself and the Hindu minority citizens. He formally declared Kashmir part of India, signed away its independence, and Indian troops soon crossed the border to defend what they now saw as their territory. On paper, the region is now India's. But Pakistan controls it with their Poonch and Pashtun troops. Both armies still had British officers in their ranks that haven't formally left the Indian/Pakistani Armies, so they're tangled in the mess too.

The Indian army was able to quickly deal with the Pashtun tribesmen as they advance into the region before winter set in and held off numerous Pakistani counterattacks. The Pakistanis and Pashtun tribesmen encircled Indian loyalists within the Poonch region and tied them down in a siege. Though the Indian forces were able to dispatch several relief columns to the siege, none was strong enough to break the encirclement upon arrival.

After spring arrived in 1948 the Indian forces launched a renewed offensive in the Kashmir valley, driving into the heart of the region and reached Poonch, relieving its Hindu population after it had suffered through a nearly year-long siege.

It appeared that Indian troops had the upper hand in the conflict and might press their advantage to seize control of the whole region, but both nations were still reeling from the effects of the Partition. A regional conflict spiraling into a general war could doom one or both nations at this point. With 1/3 of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan and 2/3 by India, both sides accepted a UN brokered agreement, formally ordering a Ceasefire on January 5th, 1949.

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 (AKA the Second Kashmir War)

This was technically the first time that the militaries of both nations clashed. The conflict arose when the military dictator of Pakistan General Ayub Khan decided to implement Operation Gibraltar - the plan to swiftly invade and seize control of Kashmir. The operation was conceived over a perceived weakness in the Indian Armed Forces, following a humiliating loss to China three years earlier, in which the Indian Army had to withdraw from several positions they occupied and cede territory to China. An uncontested occupation of some areas of the marshy Rann of Kutch by Pakistani forces, further reinforced the thought that the Indian military was weak. Some amount of wishful thinking and a belief of their own propaganda of how Pakistanis were comprised primarily of martial races, while Indians as a rule weren't, led to a perceived belief that "one Pakistani soldier was equivalent to ten Indian soldiers", may have further contributed to a belief that the invasion would be successful.

The plan was to airdrop multiple commando teams of the recently formed Green Beret trained Pakistani Special Services Group. They would link up with what the Pakistanis anticipated was a local Muslim population sympathetic to their cause and eager to rise up in rebellion. The initial plan failed when the local population didn't rise up, and instead tipped off local authorities to the presence of the SSG commandos. In order to prevent the Indian army from mobilizing in Kashmir and rolling up the commandos, the Pakistanis launched "Operation Grand Slam" - a conventional invasion of the Akhnoor region of Kashmir. India rushed conventional forces to that sector quickly and halted the invasion, but then opened a second front in the Punjab and Rajasthan border to relieve the pressure on the Kashmir front. This second front comprised of armor did advance forward, consolidating on a major victory at the Tank Battle at Phillora. The Pakistanis attempted a counterattack in the Khem Karan sector, but was on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle at the Battle of Assal Uttar. Bolstered by their victories at Phillora and Assal Uttar, the Indian armor pushed forward in the Sialkot sector with the intent of capturing the major city of Lahore, but spirited resistance allowed the Pakistanis to Hold the Line at the Battle of Chawinda and stall the Indian advance. This event forced the UN to broker a ceasefire.

The war was concluded by the Tashkent Agreement negotiated by Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani Field Marshall Ayub Khan in a conference at Tashkent. They agreed to withdraw their forces and go back to the older pre war boundaries.

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 (concurrent to and part of the Bangladesh Liberation War)

The causes beli for this conflict needs to be looked at from two perspectives - first, what caused Bangladesh to want to secede from Pakistan and secondly, what drew India into this squabble.

Pakistan - Punjab, Afghania (NWFP), Kashmir, Islamabad, Sindh, Baloochistan ... and Eastern Bengal!!

The areas of what comprised Pakistan during the partition of India, were derived from areas that the British colonial overlords had designated as "Majority Muslim". All areas except Eastern Bengal had sizeable Muslim populations owing to proximity to the Middle East. Eastern Bengal on the other hand was majority Muslim only due to a controversial administrative act of Viceroy Lord Curzon. Lord Curzon had ordered the Bengal province to be split into Hindu and Muslim halves, ostensibly for ease of administration purposes, but people there saw it as intentionally stoking religious division to fracture an otherwise United protest movement against British colonial presence. Therefore, Eastern Bengal wasn't very enthusiastic about the idea of Pakistan to begin with. The area was even fairly peaceful during the Partition in comparison to the violence that erupted between Hindu refugees fleeing from Western Pakistan, and Muslim refugees fleeing towards Western Pakistan. This further added to a feeling by West Pakistanis that the Bengali contingent of their new country hadn't paid their dues.

Eastern Bengal being geographically isolated from the rest of Pakistan meant that there were even linguistic and cultural differences that a common faith couldn't gloss over. This led to a feeling of marginalization by Bengalis in Pakistan. That marginalization was exacerbated by the fact that even though the legislative assembly in Pakistan allocated a disproportionate number of seats for that province in comparison to its size and population, the assembly was toothless and the Army held de facto power. And the Army was severely under-represented by Bengalis, especially among the ruling Generals. This was due to a prevailing doctrine that "the defense of the East lies in the West." Basically, this meant that should Indian forces invade East Pakistan, their defense would be forfeited in favor of a strong offensive from the West which would capture sufficient Indian territory to negotiate back East Pakistan.

Following the failure of Operation Grand Slam to liberate all of Kashmir in 1965, the once strong and robust Pakistani economy nosedived. Eastern Bengal was and still is highly dependent on agriculture, and they were hit hardest by the Pakistani economic recession. Having faced cultural, political, social and now economic marginalization, the Bengalis decided they had had enough. They organized into a political party to fight for secession: The Awami League.

Operation Searchlight

When elections were held in all of Pakistan in 1969, the Awami League- which was advocating for the secession of East Pakistan won a simple majority of seats in the legislature. This was because the voters in East Pakistan were united in their support of the Awami League, while those in the western provinces were fractured into multiple ideologies. The spectacle of a secessionist potentially ruling the country alarmed the ruling Generals. Instead of trying to negotiate a political compromise the Army used a massacre of 300 ethnic Bihari in Bengal as a pretext to declare martial law over the whole region. The Pakistani Army Chief General Yahya Khan appointed his friend Lt. General Tikka Khan to oversee the implementation of martial law in East Pakistan and suppressing the Awami League. He was given multiple infantry divisions, aircraft, and naval missile boats to prosecute the crackdown.

The suppression of secessionist sentiment didn't go easy. Minority religious groups such as Bengali Hindus and Christians were rounded up and arrested along with Muslim Awami League members, academics, journalists and other intelligentsia. Local Bengali police were disarmed, as were Bengali soldiers within the Pakistani Armed Forces- both were replaced with troops from West Pakistan. Telephone switchboards and radio communications were seized, university dormitories were stormed with non-Muslims being summarily executed and Muslims with Awami sympathies being arrested. As a Bengali, whether you lived, were arrested, or simply shot depended on the mood of the individual soldiers you interacted with.

Historians estimate between 300,000 and 3,000,000 Bengali civilians were killed as a result of Operation Searchlight.note  Between 200,000 and 400,000 Bengali women were raped and many were kept inside Pakistani army camps as comfort women.note  The army took special care to execute Bengali intellectuals with almost a thousand of their leading teachers, lawyers, doctors and journalists being killed before the war's end. And while Awami Muslims were not spared, the army had full freedom to persecute and kill non-Muslim religious groups.

Operation Searchlight rounded up a lot of separatist Awami League members and temporarily weakened the movement, but it also convinced Sheikh Mujibur Rehman that political activism wasn't going to cut it anymore. He turned the Awami League into an insurgency called the Mukhti Bahimi and did the unthinkable - he reached out to India for support. India wasn't prepared to do more than provide cursory help via its external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. The Mukhti Bahimi started prosecuting a true War of Independence against the Pakistani military's Eastern Command. A few Bengali officers posted in West Pakistan deserted and defected, or they died trying. The Pakistani military's response to declaration of Bengali Independence was swift and brutal - resulting in numerous atrocities including mass killings, mass rape and a mass displacement of populations not seen since the Partition.

As this is going on, the head of the American Consulate in Dhaka, Archer Blood, writes an official cable denouncing Nixon and Kissinger for not stepping up and stopping a genocide in progress. When he again protests in another official cable, Nixon and Kissinger have Archer Blood recalled and given a desk job at the State Department's home offices. Subsequent declassified documents and the Nixon Tapes revealed that Nixon and Kissinger were aware of what was happening, and they were okay with it. Nixon went so far as to order the American State Department not go rogue and contradict him by denouncing Searchlight. Pakistan was a U.S. ally in the Cold War and crucial to their plans for exploiting the Sino-Soviet split. Nixon arranges for crucial weapons to be sent to the Pakistani military, supporting the whole operation and reassuring Pakistan that they have a giant in their corner.

Refugee Crisis

Refugees with nowhere else to go note  fled in the millions to India. An estimated eighteen million poured in, most hungry or ill and many having been wounded or raped. India at that time, being an impoverished country just starting to emerge from the ravages of centuries long colonialism and the Partition, just couldn't absorb that many refugees and take care of them humanely. So then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi note  started to apply pressure on the Indian military to invade Bangladesh and liberate it from Pakistan.

At this time India's army was headed by General Sam Hormus Jamshed Fram Manekshaw, who realized that the monsoon season would soon be upon Bangladesh, turning the terrain into an impassible quagmire of bogs and marshes, rendering the large amount of logistics required for an invasion untenable. Manekshaw knew that area in general after having served in the China-India-Burma theater in World War II and having been decorated for valor there. He advised PM Gandhi that the best time for them to invade would be in the early winter when rains would be nonexistent and the river basin that comprises most of Bangladesh would be relatively dry, making it easy for vehicles to traverse the roads. Until then, arms and equipment were the only assistance India could provide the Mukhti Bahimi so they could continue to fight and weaken the Pakistani troops.

In the meantime, Indira opted to sign a twenty year defense agreements with the Soviet Union, effectively creating a diplomatic shield against Chinese and American intervention if war was declared. India was the most powerful member of the non-aligned "Third World" at the time and took what was globally seen as a dangerous step toward the Soviet Sphere, giving Moscow a political gift.

The 16 Day War

By this time, the Pakistanis knew that India was the source of the Mukhti Bahimi's weapons and weren't going to take the insurgency lying down. Not only that, they realized there was a significant buildup of forces happening in Eastern India, and that the Soviet treaty could only mean that Indira Gandhi was preparing for a major operation and didn't want to be stopped by outside interference. The Pakistanis decided their only hope of winning a general war with India was to hit first, and hit hard. The first blows in this war came in the form of coordinated air raids on Indian airfields, dubbed Operation Chengiz Khan. The Pakistani Air Force was attempting to emulate the success of the Israeli Air Force dawn raid on Egyptian airfields. However, Indian intelligence anticipated the attacks and the Indian Air Force moved its aircraft to safety before the bombs ever fell. As a result, the raids only damaged a the air base runways. They were repaired in four hours and the IAF was free to retaliate.

The Indian Army launched an invasion of East Pakistan with full air superiority and the navy enforcing a blockade. Opposing them were about ninety thousand troops under Pakistani General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi. Unlike the ‘65 war which was mostly set piece battles and armored slugfests, this invasion saw the Indian Army use blitzkreig tactics to try to bypass Pakistani strong points and strike directly at places like Dhaka and Chittagong. Fighters from the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant struck vital targets in Dhaka and Chittagong including the port area known as Cole’s bazaar.

In response, and in line with their doctrine of “capture Indian territory in the West to negotiate back territory lost in the east”, Pakistan attempted an invasion of northern and western India. An air raid on the Kashmiri capital city of Srinagar was foiled due to the heroic Last Stand by Indian Gnat pilot Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon. An armored thrust into the Basantar region was foiled by another heroic Last Stand by a single Indian tank platoon commanded by Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal. Yet another thrust in the Thar desert was stopped at Longewala by a single heavy weapons company under the command of Major (later Brig Gen Kuldip Singh Chandipur, holding the line for an entire night against an entire Pakistani armored brigade). The Indian Army then went on the offensive in the West and captured about 5000 sq km of Pakistani territory, thus stunting the Pakistani strategy of capturing Indian territory to negotiate back East Pakistan. The Indian Navy and Air Force then started to strike at targets deep inside Pakistan.

The Indian Air Force first struck at PAF airfields, taking them out of the fight and upon achieving total air supremacy they started hitting Pakistani infrastructure. One of the targets hit during these airfield raids was a Beech 100 aircraft belonging to Brig Gen Chuck Yeager who was advising the Pakistani Air Force at that time. The Indian pilot who struck that aircraft was a naval aviator, Lieutenant Arun Prakash - the only naval aviator to become Chief of Naval Staff. The Indian Navy struck the port city of Karachi with an entire missile boat squadron. This attack destroyed many fuel stores, sank or damaged a lot of ships in harbor and effectively took the Pakistani Navy out of the fight. A Pakistani submarine retaliated by sinking the Indian frigate INS Khukri, but this only caused the Indian Navy to attack Karachi again. This time all remaining fuel stores were destroyed and while the Pakistani Air Force attempted to respond to this attack, their reliance on poorly executed reconnaissance by airline pilots resulted in them sinking the Pakistani Navy frigate Zulfiqaar with all hands. Then the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi was sent to try to sink the Indian carrier Vikrant, but sank under mysterious circumstances. The air war in Pakistan saw the first ever supersonic dogfight in South Asia, when an Indian MiG-21 downed a Pakistani F-104 Starfighter.

Back in the east, having attained total supremacy in the air and sea, the Indian Army pressed its advantage. Pakistan’s newly raised Marines attempted to strike back with riverine operations but their ineptitude in understanding expeditionary and amphibious warfare caused these marines to be routed and later disbanded. The Meghna Heli-bridge drop bypassed an important strong point and caused Dhaka to become vulnerable to assault. Pakistani forces attempted to retreat and consolidate elsewhere, but the Tangail paratrooper air drop cut off their escape. This left all Pakistani forces in the East encircled and besieged. Finally, on December 16th Pakistani General Niazi and all of his ninety thousand men unconditionally surrendered to Indian Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora. This was the largest surrender of forces in combat since Stalingrad. Soon, the entire Pakistani military unconditionally surrendered.

Enter the Enterprise

The Indian victory in this war created a high possibility that Pakistan might just be annexed and reunited with India. Most countries were ambivalent about this reunification. Barely three decades ago all of that territory was part of British India anyway. And there hadn't been much of a reaction to India annexing Goa back from the Portuguese a decade earlier. But Nixon and Kissinger are watching Indira Gandhi roll over the Pakistanis, and they start freaking out. If the Nixon administration's secret plan to reach out to China for cooperation in the Cold War is to succeed, Pakistan has to exist to conduct the negotiations. Nixon's plan was to take advantage of the Sino-Soviet split and edge China closer to the US, to coordinate action against the Soviets. The US had refused to recognize Mao's government in Beijing so they had no embassy or any diplomatic presence in China- and setting one up would be a huge red flag to the Soviets about what the plan was, so Nixon was going through Pakistani intermediaries to make contact with the Chinese government.note  If Pakistan ceased to exist, Nixon's plan would come undone. Moreover, India had grown dangerously closer to the Soviet Union. The Soviets were the only country that sold weapons to India after most other countries had slapped arms trade embargoes on both India and Pakistan after the '65 war,note  and now Indira had signed a defensive pact with the USSR in the lead-up to war. There was real worry of Soviet influence spreading further into the Middle East and South East Asia, using reunified India as a springboard. To prevent this, Nixon decided to take action.

He sent the USS Enterprise's battle group into the Indian Ocean to flex military muscle.note  The Soviets sent a surface warship group to "counter" American military presence there and live up to the joint defense agreement with India, but it was unclear if they would have militarily intervened if the Americans initiated conflict and the ink on their alliance with India was barely dry yet.

The spectacle of possibly going to war with the US alarmed Indira Gandhi's government in India. They had no way of knowing that Nixon was probably just bluffing and saber rattling. Instead of calling his bluff she invited Pakistani officials to Shimla in India to talk peace. The Shimla Agreement hammered out a few months later offered quite generous terms to the Pakistanis - they would have to recognize Bangladesh as an independent nation, but all their captured territory would be returned to them, none of the Pakistani soldiers captured in Bangladesh would be tried for war crimes, and Pakistan committed to bilaterally resolve the Kashmir issue via diplomacy with India.note  However, this “Enterprise Incident” forced Indian strategic planners to work on developing a nuclear deterrent so no superpower would ever push them around like that again. This resulted in the development of The Third Eye of Bharat. In response to this, Pakistan began work on its own nuclear program.

For their part, the Bangladeshi people formed an independent, nation with a Parliamentary democracy and a substantial Muslim majority population that holds India as close neighbors. To this day, apart from a border skirmish in 2001, there have been few conflicts between their governments or their people.

The Siachen Conflict (began in 1984, ceasefire in 2003 but no resolution)

The Kargil War of 1999

The Kargil conflict served as a fascinating study of modern mountain warfare tactics, nuclear deterrence strategy, and the importance of winning of an information/propaganda war. The impetus for the conflict was the recent nuclearization of both India and Pakistan, and the thaw in diplomatic relations between the two.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Pakistan on an inaugural bus route to celebrate the reopening of road, rail, cultural and sporting links between the countries after a nine year embargo. This had given the elected government in Pakistan under Prime Minister Navaaz Sharif a boost to its own credibility, which the Pakistani military felt was undermining their influence on Pakistani society. The Generals felt that they needed to do something to gain public approval before their military budget and political power dried up. There was also a perception among the Pakistani army that a nuclearized India was already growing complacent under its nuclear umbrella and would therefore be disinclined to start or escalate a conventional war. While India had (and still has) a "no first use" nuclear policy, the Pakistanis had refused to enact the same and reserved the right to escalate a conventional conflict to a nuclear one if Indian numerical superiority was starting to get overwhelming. They were confident that a limited, low intensity conflict would not balloon into a full scale conventional war, as their own nuclear weapons would deter India from retaliating too strongly.

The instigating event was an audacious plan hatched by former SSG commando and then Army Chief Pervez Musharraf. The ploy was to sneak in a bunch of irregular "mujaheddin fighters" with some regular army and paramilitary personnel over the mountain summits in the Kargill, Drass, Batalik and Mushkoh Valley sectors in Indian controlled Kashmir.note  These mountain summits overlooked the strategically important highway NH-1 that served as an artery between the capital Srinagar and the important Leh Airfield. From their positions on the mountain tops, these infiltrator's were well positioned to call in artillery strikes over any military convoys running supplies between Srinagar and Leh. With this supply route severed, Pakistani paratroopers were positioned to assault and seize Leh Airfield, which would be used as a staging area for an assault on Srinagar. The assault would be bolstered by the fact that NH-1 would fall completely under Pakistani artillery cover. The capture of Srinagar would be used to instigate a full scale rebellion by a Kashmiri Muslim insurgency that Pakistani intelligence was cultivating for nearly a decade.

The planners were looking to hamstring the response of Indian forces by threatening to escalate a conventional war into a nuclear one, and thus preventing Indian forces from doing two things that would have compelled the infiltrators to retreat. Due to the terrain of the mountains occupied, the only prudent option was to launch pincers into Pakistan controlled Kashmir, cut off the infiltrators' supply routes and encircle them. Another option was to open a front in the Punjab and Rajasthan border, forcing Pakistan to reallocate forces there. Threats of nuclear escalation had rendered these options untenable. What the Pakistani infiltrators didn't anticipate was India taking the least prudent conventional military action - launching frontal assaults on the Pakistanis' mountain observation posts.

The Indian response was initially uncoordinated and haphazard, losing quite a few senior officers in the process. However, these initial assaults were just keeping the infiltrators occupied while elements of the Gurkha and Kumaon Regiments were being acclimated to high altitude warfare. Already famous for their mountain warfare prowess, these elements would attempt to storm the Pakistani outposts with artillery and air support. To do this, they had to scale steep mountain rock faces while taking enemy fire. This made these assaults into slow and painstaking grinds. Each hill was bitterly contested. However, the Indians eventually started to win one fight after another, owing to air superiority, the excellent performance of Bofors "shoot and scoot" artillery and the difficult terrain. As more hills fell, Indian forces also captured sufficient intelligence to make a convincing case to the international media of the Pakistani Army's complicity in the infiltration campaign.

At the same time, Indian casualties began to rack up much faster than the Pakistanis. Indian commanders were given strict orders not to call for air strikes on targets within Pakistan's territory and to take special care not to cross the Line of Control. Indian Mirage Fighters flew day and night sorties, pounding bunkers and strongpoints erected by the Pakistani troops. While this is going on, India's Eastern and Western fleets combined into one unit and blockaded Karachi, leaving the Pakistani navy with just 6 days' worth of fuel. They would either have come out and fight or else slowly starve until the ships would be useless.

On the other side of the border, Pakistani media and diplomats were caught completely unawares as India and the international community are watching a dangerous shooting war break out between nuclear armed neighbors with a history of conflict and religious struggle. As the Army hadn't let the civilian government in on its plan, Pakistani PM Sharif was (allegedly) shocked when PM Vajpayee informed him of the operations the Pakistani army was launching in Kashmir and his civil servants were unsure of how to reign in the Army. This allowed the Indian media to win public opinion to their side. Facing intense pressure internationally, PM Sharif had to secure American help to convince his military to pull their remaining troops back. His one-upmanship of the Pakistani Army proved short lived. Sharif was deposed in a bloodless coup d'etat and fled Pakistan into exile and General Musharraf seized power.note 

The end result was the return of military rule in Pakistan and a reversal of diplomatic gains made with India. Over 2,000 Indian troops were killed or wounded in the fighting. Pakistani numbers are harder to come by, but judging from posthumous citations issued the safe number is between 700 and 1,000 Pakistani fighters were killed or wounded. Diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan would be normalized only in 2003 when Musharraf was given a veneer of credibility brought about by cooperating with the US on Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan- and after both sides nearly annihilated one another in a nuclear standoff in late 2002.


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