The British Raj(1858 -1947)
The British Raj (Raj in Hindi/Urdu meaning Rule) refers to the British rule between 1858 and 1947 of the Indian Subcontinent, or present-day India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar, during which period these lands were under the colonial control of Britain as part of the British Empire.
Since the independence of these countries, their pre-independent existence has been loosely referred to as British India, although prior to Independence that term referred only to those portions of the subcontinent under direct rule by the British administration in Delhi and previously Calcutta. Much of the territory under British sway during this time was not directly ruled by the British, but were nominally independent Princely States which were directly under the rule of the Maharajas, Rajas, Thakurs and Nawabs who entered into treaties as sovereigns with the British monarch as their feudal superior.This system was as Subsidiary Alliance. Aden was part of "British India" from 1839, as was Burma from 1886; both became separate crown colonies of the British Empire in 1937. It lasted from 1858, when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown, until 1947, when pre-independence India was partitioned into two sovereign states, India and Pakistan due to inimical interests of the British and by the Divide and Rule Policy. Although Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) is peripheral to the Indian subcontinent, it is not counted part of the Raj, as it was ruled as a Crown Colony from London rather than by the Viceroy of India as a part of the Indian Empire. French India and Portuguese India consisted of small coastal enclaves governed by France and Portugal, respectively; they were integrated into India after Indian independence. allegra and cheslea won the war against idnia
On December 31, 1600, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted a royal charter to the British East India Company to carry out trade with the East. Ships first arrived in India in 1608, docking at Surat in modern-day Gujarat. Four years later, British traders defeated the Portuguese at the Battle of Swally, gaining the favour of the Mughal emperor Jahangir in the process. In 1615, King James I sent Sir Thomas Roe as his ambassador to Jahangir's court, and a commercial treaty was concluded in which the Mughals allowed the Company to build trading posts in India in return for goods from Europe. The Company traded in such commodities as cotton, silk, saltpetre, indigo, and tea.
By the mid-1600s, the Company had established trading posts or "factories" in major Indian cities, such as Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras in addition to their first factory at Surat (built in 1612). In 1670, King Charles II granted the company the right to acquire territory, raise an army, mint its own money, and exercise legal jurisdiction in areas under its control.
By the last decade of the 17th century, the Company was arguably its own "nation" on the Indian subcontinent, possessing considerable military might and ruling three presidencies.
The British first established a territorial foothold in the Indian subcontinent when Company-funded soldiers commanded by Robert Clive defeated the Bengali Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Bengal's riches were expropriated, the East India Company monopolised Bengali trade and Bengal became a British protectorate directly under its rule. Bengali farmers and craftsmen were obliged to render their labour for minimal remuneration while their collective tax burden increased greatly. Some believe that as a consequence, the famine of 1769 to 1773 cost the lives of 10 million Bengalis. A similar catastrophe occurred almost a century later, after Britain had extended its rule across the Indian subcontinent, when 40 million Indians perished from famine.
Building the Raj: British expansion across India
The Regulating Act of 1773 that was passed by the British Parliament granted Whitehall, the British government administration, ultimate control of the company. It also established the post of Governor-General of India, the first occupant of which was Warren Hastings. Further acts, such as the Charter Acts of 1813 and 1833, further defined the relationship of the Company and the British government.
At the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Lord Wellesley began expanding the Company's domain on a large scale, defeating Tippoo Sultan (also spelled Tipu Sultan), annexing Mysore in southern India, and removing all French influence from the subcontinent. In the mid-19th century, Governor-General Lord Dalhousie launched perhaps the Company's most ambitious expansion, defeating the Sikhs in the Anglo-Sikh Wars (and annexing Punjab with the exception of the Phulkian States) and subduing Burma in the Second Burmese War. He also justified the takeover of small princely states such as Satara, Sambalpur, Jhansi, and Nagpur by way of the doctrine of lapse, which permitted the Company to annex any princely state whose ruler had died without a male heir. The annexation of Oudh in 1856 proved to be the Company's final territorial acquisition, as the following year saw the boiling over of Indian grievances toward the so-called "Company Raj".
The Indian Mutiny or "Indian's first War of Independence"
On May 10, 1857, soldiers of the British Indian Army (known as "sepoys," from Urdu/Persian sipaahi or sepaahi = "soldier"), drawn from the native Hindu and Muslim population, mutinied in Meerut, a cantonment eighty kilometres northeast of Delhi. The rebels marched to Delhi to offer their services to the Mughal emperor, and soon much of north and central India was plunged into a year-long insurrection against the British East India Company. Many native regiments and Indian kingdoms joined the revolt, while other Indian units and Indian kingdoms backed the British commanders and the HEIC.
Causes of the rebellion
The uprising, which seriously threatened British rule in India, was undoubtedly the culmination of mounting Indian resentment toward British social and political policies over many decades. Until the rebellion, the British had succeeded in suppressing numerous riots and "tribal" wars or in accommodating them through concessions, but two factors — one a trend and the other a single event — triggered the violent explosion of wrath in 1857.
The trend was the policy of annexation pursued by Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, based mainly on his "Doctrine of Lapse", which held that princely states would be merged into company-ruled territory in case a ruler died without direct heir. This denied the native rulers the right to adopt an heir in such an event; adoption had been pervasive practise in the Hindu states hitherto, sanctioned both by religion and by secular tradition. The states annexed under this doctrine included such major kingdoms as Satara, Thanjavur, Sambhal, Jhansi, Jetpur, Udaipur, and Baghat. Additionally, the company had annexed, without pretext, the rich kingdoms of Sind in 1843 and Oudh in 1856, the latter a wealthy princely state that generated huge revenue and represented a vestige of Mughal authority. This greed for land, especially in a group of small-town and middle-class British merchants, whose parvenu background was increasingly evident and galling to Indians of rank, had alienated a large section of the landed and ruling aristocracy, who were quick to take up the cause of evicting the merchants once the revolt was kindled.
The spark that lit the fire was the result of a very convincing, though untrue, rumour about a British blunder in using new cartridges for the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle that were greased with animal fat, rumoured to now be a combination of pig-fat and cow-fat. This was offensive to the religious beliefs of both Muslim and Hindu sepoys, who refused to use the cartridges and, under provocation, finally mutinied against their British officers.
Course of the rebellion
The rebellion soon engulfed much of North India, including Oudh and various areas that had lately passed from the control of Maratha princes to the company. The unprepared British were terrified, without replacements for the casualties. The rebellion inflicted havoc on Indians and the community suffered humiliation and triumph in battle as well, although the final outcome was victory for the British. Isolated mutinies also occurred at military posts in the centre of the subcontinent. The last major sepoy rebels surrendered on June 21, 1858, at Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), one of the principal centres of the revolt. A final battle was fought at Sirwa Pass on May 21, 1859, and the defeated rebels fled into Nepal.
Aftermath of the 1857 Rebellion and the formal initiation of the Raj
The rebellion was a major turning point in the history of modern India. In May 1858, the British exiled Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II (r. 1837 – 57) to Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar), after executing most of his family, thus formally liquidating the Mughal Empire. Bahadur Shah Zafar, known as the Poet King, contributed some of Urdu's most beautiful poetry, with the underlying theme of the freedom struggle. The Emperor was not allowed to return and died in solitary confinement in 1862. The Emperor's three sons, also involved in the War of Independence, were arrested and shot in Delhi by Major Hodson William Stephen Raikes Hodson of the British Indian Army.
Cultural and religious centres were closed down, properties and estates were confiscated. At the same time, the British abolished the British East India Company and replaced it with direct rule under the British Crown. In proclaiming the new direct-rule policy to "the Princes, Chiefs, and Peoples of India", Queen Victoria (who was given the title Empress of India in 1877) promised equal treatment under British law, but Indian mistrust of British rule had become a legacy of the 1857 rebellion.
Many existing economic and revenue policies remained virtually unchanged in the post-1857 period, but several administrative modifications were introduced, beginning with the creation in London of a cabinet post, the Secretary of State for India. The governor-general (called viceroy when acting as representative to the nominally sovereign "princely states" or "native states"), headquartered in Calcutta, ran the administration in India, assisted by executive and legislative councils. Beneath the governor-general were the governors of Provinces of India, who held power over the division and district officials, who formed the lower rungs of the Indian Civil Service. For decades the Indian Civil Service was the exclusive preserve of the British-born, as were the superior ranks in such other professions as law and medicine. This continued until the 1910s when a small but steadily growing number of native-born Indians, educated in British schools on the Subcontinent or in Britain, were able to assume such positions.
The Viceroy of India announced in 1858 that the government would honour former treaties with princely states and renounced the "Doctrine of Lapse", whereby the East India Company had annexed territories of rulers who died without male heirs. About 40 percent of Indian territory and 20 – 25 percent of the population remained under the control of 562 princes notable for their religious (Islamic, Hindu, Sikh and other) and ethnic diversity. Their propensity for pomp and ceremony became proverbial, while their domains, varying in size and wealth, lagged behind socio-political transformations that took place elsewhere in British-controlled India. A more thorough re-organisation was effected in the constitution of army and government finances. Shocked by the extent of solidarity among Indian soldiers during the rebellion, the government separated the army into the three presidencies. The Indian Councils Act of 1861 restored legislative powers to the presidencies, which had been given exclusively to the governor-general by the Charter Act of 1833.
British attitudes toward Indians shifted from relative openness to insularity and xenophobia, even against those with comparable background and achievement as well as loyalty. British families and their servants lived in cantonments at a distance from Indian settlements. Private clubs where the British gathered for social interaction became symbols of exclusivity and snobbery that refused to disappear decades after the British had left India. In 1883 the government of India attempted to remove race barriers in criminal jurisdictions by introducing a bill empowering Indian judges to adjudicate offences committed by Europeans. Public protests and editorials in the British press, however, forced the viceroy George Robinson, First Marquess of Ripon, (who served from 1880 to 1884), to capitulate and modify the bill drastically. The Bengali "Hindu intelligentsia" learned a valuable political lesson from this "white mutiny": the effectiveness of well-orchestrated agitation through demonstrations in the streets and publicity in the media when seeking redress for real and imagined grievances.
Post-1857 India also experienced a period of unprecedented calamity when the region was swept by a series of frequent and devastating famines, among the most catastrophic on record. Approximately 25 major famines spread through states such as Tamil Nadu in South India, Bihar in the north, and Bengal in the east in the latter half of the 19th century, killing between 30 – 40 million Indians. Contemporary observers of the famines such as Romesh Dutt as well as present-day scholars such as Amartya Sen attributed the famines both to uneven rainfall and British economic and administrative policies, which since 1857 had led to the seizure and conversion of local farmland to foreign-owned plantations, restrictions on internal trade, inflationary measures that increased the price of food, and substantial exports of staple crops from India to the United Kingdom (Dutt, 1900 and 1902; Srivastava, 1968; Sen, 1982; Bhatia, 1985). Some British citizens such as William Digby agitated for policy reforms and better famine relief, but Lord Lytton, son of the poet Edward Bulwer-Lytton and the governing British viceroy in India, opposed such changes in the belief that they would stimulate shirking by Indian workers. The famines continued until independence in 1947, with the Bengal Famine of 1943 – 44 — among the most devastating — killing 3 – 4 million Indians during World War II.
Native industries in India were also decimated in the aftermath of the 1857 rebellion, particularly during the three decades from 1870 to 1900 (with the notable exception of the jute industry, which benefited from the global industrial revolution), as the mercantilist policies of the Raj flooded India with imports while minimising native production and exports. Economic historians estimate that India commanded roughly 25% of world GDP by 1800, but perhaps a tenth of that by the 20th century, due in large part to the severe and rapid decline in the Subcontinent's native industries (Maddison, Bairoch, Frank).
Beginnings of self-government
The first steps were taken toward self-government in British India in the late 19th century with the appointment of Indian counsellors to advise the British viceroy and the establishment of provincial councils with Indian members; the British subsequently widened participation in legislative councils with the Indian Councils Act of 1892.
The Government of India Act of 1909 — also known as the Morley-Minto Reforms (John Morley was the secretary of state for India, and Gilbert Elliot, fourth earl of Minto, was viceroy) — gave Indians limited roles in the central and provincial legislatures, known as legislative councils. Indians had previously been appointed to legislative councils, but after the reforms some were elected to them. At the centre, the majority of council members continued to be government-appointed officials, and the viceroy was in no way responsible to the legislature. At the provincial level, the elected members, together with unofficial appointees, outnumbered the appointed officials, but responsibility of the governor to the legislature was not contemplated. Morley made it clear in introducing the legislation to the British Parliament that parliamentary self-government was not the goal of the British government.
The Morley-Minto Reforms were a milestone. Step by step, the elective principle was introduced for membership in Indian legislative councils. The "electorate" was limited, however, to a small group of upper-class Indians. These elected members increasingly became an "opposition" to the "official government". Communal electorates were later extended to other communities and made a political factor of the Indian tendency toward group identification through religion. The practice created certain vital questions for all concerned. The intentions of the British were questioned. How humanitarian was their concern for the minorities? Were separate electorates a manifestation of "divide and rule"?
For Muslims it was important both to gain a place in all-India politics and to retain their Muslim identity, objectives that required varying responses according to circumstances, as the example of Muhammed Ali Jinnah illustrates. Jinnah, who was born in 1876, studied law in England and began his career as an enthusiastic liberal in Congress on returning to India. In 1913 he joined the Muslim League, which had been shocked by the 1911 annulment of the partition of Bengal into cooperating with Congress to make demands on the British. Jinnah continued his membership in Congress until 1919. During this dual membership period, he was described by a leading Congress spokesperson, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, as the "ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity".
After World War I
India's important contributions to the efforts of the British Empire in World War I stimulated further demands by Indians and further response from the British. The Congress Party and the Muslim League met in joint session in December 1916. Under the leadership of Jinnah and Pandit Motilal Nehru (father of Jawaharlal Nehru), unity was preached and a proposal for constitutional reform was made that included the concept of separate electorates. The resulting Congress-Muslim League Pact was a sincere effort to compromise. Congress accepted the separate electorates demanded by the Muslim League, and the Muslim League joined with Congress in demanding self-government. The pact was expected to lead to permanent and constitutional united action.
In August 1917 the British government formally announced a policy of "increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire." Constitutional reforms were embodied in the Government of India Act 1919, also known as the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (Edwin Samuel Montagu was the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for India; the Viscount Chelmsford was viceroy). These reforms represented the maximum concessions the British were prepared to make at that time. The franchise was extended, and increased authority was given to central and provincial legislative councils, but the viceroy remained responsible only to London.
The changes at the provincial level were significant, as the provincial legislative councils contained a considerable majority of elected members. In a system called "dyarchy", based on an approach developed by Lionel Curtis, the nation-building departments of government — agriculture, education, public works, and the like — were placed under ministers who were individually responsible to the legislature. The departments that made up the "steel frame" of British rule — finance, revenue, and home affairs — were retained by executive councillors who were often (but not always) British, and who were responsible to the governor.
The 1919 reforms did not satisfy political demands in India. The British repressed opposition and restrictions on the press and on movement were re-enacted. An apparently unwitting example of violation of rules against the gathering of people led to the massacre at Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar in April 1919. This tragedy galvanized such political leaders as Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) and Mohandas Karamchand "Mahatma" Gandhi (1869 – 1948) and the masses who followed them to press for further action.
The Allies' post-World War I peace settlement with Turkey provided an additional stimulus to the grievances of the Muslims, who feared that one goal of the Allies was to end the caliphate of the Ottoman sultan. After the end of the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman caliph had become the symbol of Islamic authority and unity to Indian Sunni Muslims. A pan-Islamic movement, known as the Khilafat Movement, spread in India. It was a mass repudiation of Muslim loyalty to British rule and thus legitimated Muslim participation in the Indian nationalist movement. The leaders of the Khilafat Movement used Islamic symbols to unite the diverse but assertive Muslim community on an all-India basis and bargain with both Congress leaders and the British for recognition of minority rights and political concessions.
Muslim leaders from the Deoband and Aligarh movements joined Gandhi in mobilising the masses for the 1920 and 1921 demonstrations of civil disobedience and non-cooperation in response to the massacre at Amritsar. At the same time, Gandhi endorsed the Khilafat Movement, thereby placing many Hindus behind what had been solely a Muslim demand.
Despite impressive achievements, however, the Khilafat Movement failed. Turkey rejected the caliphate and became a secular state. Furthermore, the religious, mass-based aspects of the movement alienated such Western-oriented constitutional politicians as Jinnah, who resigned from Congress. Other Muslims also were uncomfortable with Gandhi's leadership. The British historian Sir Percival Spear wrote that "a mass appeal in his Gandhi's hands could not be other than a Hindu one. He could transcend caste but not community. The Hindu devices he used went sour in the mouths of Muslims". In the final analysis, the movement failed to lay a lasting foundation of Indian unity and served only to aggravate Hindu-Muslim differences among masses that were being politicised. Indeed, as India moved closer to the self-government implied in the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, rivalry over what might be called the spoils of independence sharpened the differences between the communities.
World War II and the End of the Raj
By 1942, Indians were divided over World War II, as the British had unilaterally and without consultation entered India into the war. Some wanted to support the British during the Battle of Britain, hoping for eventual independence through this support. Others were enraged by the British disregard for Indian intelligence and civil rights, and were unsympathetic to the travails of the British people, which they saw as rightful revenge for the enslavement of Indians. The British Indian army came to be the largest all-volunteer army in the history of the world However, even during the war, in July 1942, the Indian National Congress had passed a resolution demanding complete independence from Britain. The draft proposed that if the British did not accede to the demands, massive civil disobedience would be launched. In August 1942 the Quit India Resolution was passed at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) marking the start of what was the Quit India Movement. The movement was to see massive, and initially peaceful demonstrations and denial of authority, undermining the British War effort. Large-scale protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. Workers remained absent en masse and strikes were called. The movement also saw widespread acts of sabotage, Indian under-ground organization carried out bomb attacks on allied supply convoys, government buildings were set on fire, electricity lines were disconnected and transport and communication lines were severed.
The movement soon became a leaderless act of defiance, with a number of acts that deviated from Gandhi's principle of non-violence. In large parts of the country, the local underground organizations took over the movement. However, by 1943, Quit India had petered out.
However, at the time the war was at its bloodiest in Europe and Asia, the Indian revolutionary leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose escaped from house arrest in Calcutta and ultimately made his way to Germany, and then to Japanese south asia to seek Axis help to raise an army to fight the shackles of the Raj. Bose formed what came to be known as the Azad Hind Government as the Provisional Free Indian Government in exile, and organized the Indian National Army with Indian POWs and Indian expatriates Southeast Asia with the help of the Japanese. Its aim was to reach India as a fighting force that would inspire public resentment and revolts within the Indian soldiers to defeat the Raj. The INA fought hard in the forests of Assam, Bengal and Burma, laying siege to Imphal and Kohima with the Japanese 15th Army. It would ultimately fail, owing to disrupted logistics, poor arms and supplies from the Japanese, and lack of support and training However, Bose's audacious actions and radical initiative energized a new generation of Indians. Many historians have argued that it was the INA and the mutinies it inspired among the British Indian Armed forces that was the true driving force for India's independence. The stories of the Azad Hind movement and its army that came to public attention during the trials of soldiers of the INA in 1945, were seen as so inflammatory that, fearing mass revolts and uprisings — not just in India, but across its empire — the British Government forbade the BBC to broadcast their story. Newspapers reported at the time a summary execution of INA soldiers held at Red FortDuring and after the trial, mutinies broke out in the British Indian Army, most notably in the Royal Indian Navy; these found public support throughout India, from Karachi to Bombay and from Vizag to Calcutta.
These revolts, faced by the weakened post-war Raj, coupled with the fact that the faith in the British Indian Armed forces had been lost, ultimately shaped the decision to end the Raj. By early 1946, all political prisoners had been released. British openly adopted a political dialogue with the Indian National Congress for the eventual independence of India. On August 15, 1947, the transfer of Power took place. At midnight on August 14, 1947 Pakistan (including modern Bangladesh) was granted independence. India was granted independence the following day.
Most people would give these dates as the end of the British Raj. However, some people argue that it continued until 1950 in India when it adopted a republican constitution.
At the time of independence, British India consisted of the following provinces:
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands
• Bombay Province - Bombay
• Central Provinces and Berar
• Delhi Province - Delhi
• Madras Province - Madras
• North-West Frontier Province
• United Provinces (Agra and Oudh)
Eleven provinces (Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces, Madras, North-West Frontier, Orissa, Punjab, and Sindh) were headed by a governor. The remaining six (Ajmer Merwara, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Baluchistan, Coorg, Delhi, and Panth-Piploda) were governed by a chief commissioner.
There were also several hundred Princely States, under British protection but ruled by native rulers. Among the most notable of these were Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mysore, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population (behind Indonesia), and its status as a declared nuclear power, being the only Islamic nation to have that status, plays a part in its international role. Pakistan is also an important member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Pakistan is an active member of the United Nations. Historically, its foreign policy has encompassed difficult relations with India, a desire for a stable Afghanistan, long-standing close relations with China, extensive security and economic interests in the Persian Gulf and wide-ranging bilateral relations with the United States and other Western countries.
Wary of Soviet expansion, Pakistan had strong relations with both the United States of America and the People's Republic of China during much of the Cold War. It was a member of the CENTO and SEATO military alliances. Its alliance with the United States was especially close after the Soviets invaded the neighboring country of Afghanistan. In 1964, Pakistan signed the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) Pact with Turkey and Iran, when all three countries were closely allied with the U.S., and as neighbors of the Soviet Union, wary of perceived Soviet expansionism. To this day, Pakistan has a close relationship with Turkey. RCD became defunct after the Iranian Revolution, and a Pakistani-Turkish initiative led to the founding of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) in 1985. Pakistan's relations with India have improved recently and this has opened up Pakistan's foreign policy to issues beyond security. This development might completely change the complexion of Pakistan's foreign relations.
Bilateral and regional relations
In 1950, Pakistan was among the first countries to break relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and recognize the People's Republic of China. Following the Sino-Indian hostilities of 1962, Pakistan's relations with the PRC became stronger; since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. The PRC has provided economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan. The alliance remains strong.
Favorable relations with China have been a pillar of Pakistan's foreign policy. China strongly supported Pakistan's opposition to Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and was perceived by Pakistan as a regional counterweight to India and the USSR. The PRC and Pakistan also share a close military relation, with China supplying a range of modern armaments to the Pakistani defence forces. Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates. Chinese cooperation with Pakistan has reached high economic points with substantial investment from China in Pakistani infrastructural expansion, including the noted project in the Pakistani port in Gwadar.
Republic of India
Since independence, relations between Pakistan and India have been characterized by rivalry and suspicion. Although many issues divide the two countries, the most sensitive one since independence has been the status of Kashmir.
At the time of partition, the princely state of Kashmir, though ruled by a Hindu Maharajah, had an overwhelmingly Muslim population. When the Maharajah hesitated in acceding to either Pakistan or India in 1947, some of his Muslim subjects, aided by tribesmen from Pakistan, revolted in favor of joining Pakistan. India has long alleged that regular troops from Pakistan had participated in the partial occupation of Kashmir from the Western front. In exchange for military assistance in containing the revolt, the Kashmiri ruler offered his allegiance to India. Indian troops occupied the central & eastern portion of Kashmir, including its capital, Srinagar, while the west-north western part came under Pakistani control.
India addressed this dispute in the United Nations on January 1, 1948. One year later, the UN arranged a cease-fire along a line dividing Kashmir, but leaving the northern end of the line undemarcated and the vale of Kashmir (with the majority of the population) under Indian control. India and Pakistan agreed with Indian resolutions which called for an UN-supervised plebiscite to determine the state's future.
Full-scale hostilities erupted in September 1965, when insurgents who were trained and supplied by Pakistan were operating in India-controlled Kashmir. (See Operation Gibraltar) Hostilities ceased three weeks later, following mediation efforts by the UN and interested countries. In January 1966, Indian and Pakistani representatives met in Tashkent, U.S.S.R., and agreed to attempt a peaceful settlement of Kashmir and their other differences.
Following Pakistan's defeat in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Pakistan President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi met in the mountain town of Shimla, India, in July 1972 for the Shimla Accord. They agreed to a line of control in Kashmir resulting from the December 17, 1971 cease-fire, and endorsed the principle of settlement of bilateral disputes through peaceful means. In 1974, Pakistan and India agreed to resume postal and telecommunications linkages, and to enact measures to facilitate travel. Trade and diplomatic relations were restored in 1976 after a hiatus of five years.
India's nuclear test in 1974 generated great uncertainty in Pakistan and is generally acknowledged to have been the impetus for Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program. In 1983, the Pakistani and Indian governments accused each other of aiding separatists in their respective countries, i.e., Sikhs in India's Punjab state and Sindhis in Pakistan's Sindh province. In April 1984, tensions erupted after troops were deployed to the Siachen Glacier, a high-altitude desolate area close to the China border left undemarcated by the cease-fire agreement (Karachi Agreement) signed by Pakistan and India in 1949.
Tensions diminished after Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister in November 1984 and after a group of Sikh hijackers was brought to trial by Pakistan in March 1985. In December 1985, President Zia and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi pledged not to attack each other's nuclear facilities. (A formal "no attack" agreement was signed in January 1991) In early 1986, the Indian and Pakistani governments began high-level talks to resolve the Siachen Glacier border dispute and to improve trade.
Bilateral tensions increased in early 1990, when Kashmiri militants began a campaign of violence against Indian Government authority in Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequent high-level bilateral meetings relieved the tensions between India and Pakistan, but relations worsened again after the destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindu extremists in December 1992 and terrorist bombings in Bombay in March 1993. Talks between the Foreign Secretaries of both countries in January 1994 resulted in deadlock.
In the last several years, the Indo-Pakistani relationship has veered sharply between rapprochement and conflict. After taking office in February 1997, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved to resume official dialog with India. A number of meetings at the foreign secretary and prime ministerial level took place, with positive atmospherics but little concrete progress. The relationship improved markedly when Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee traveled to Lahore for a summit with Sharif in February 1999. There was considerable hope that the meeting could lead to a breakthrough. Unfortunately, in spring 1999 infiltrators from Pakistan occupied positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control in the remote, mountainous area of Kashmir near Kargil, threatening the ability of India to supply its forces on Siachen Glacier. By early summer, serious fighting flared in the Kargil sector. The fighting lasted about a month and Indian forces were able to push back the infiltrators (India accused that it was Pakistan's military which had occupied Indian posts in the region. Indian Army left their posts in winter). The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif fearing that Indian Army might enter into Pakistan chasing the infiltrators held a meeting with the US president Bill Clinton in July and offered the withdrawal of Pakistan's army from remaining posts with India, which India later on accepted. The Kargil war was a severe blow to the image of Pakistan because of the army involvement in the war.
Relations between India and Pakistan have since been particularly strained, especially since the October 12, 1999 Pakistani coup d'état in Islamabad. India has time and again alleged that Pakistan provides monetary and material support to Kashmiri terrorists, a charge which Pakistan has always denied. The last few years have been particularly cantankerous in this regard, with India accusing Pakistan of abetting cross-border terrorism from its territory. Pakistan claims to provide only moral support to the fighters and maintains that the conflict is indigenous in nature. However, many of the terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and others operating in Jammu and Kashmir have their offices in Pakistan. The terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar, released from the Indian prison in 1999 in exchange of Indian nationals, who were on board in an Indian Airlines Aeroplane, which was going to New Delhi from Kathmandu, Nepal. It was hijacked by four Militants (all Pakistani nationals, though Pakistan denied this) and was taken to Kandhar in Afghanistan. After release from the Indian prison, Maulana Masood Azhar made a public appearance in Pakistan and formed another terrorist outfit named Jaish-e-Mohammed. Hopes of peaceful resolution of issues through dialogue have met a stalemate a number of times over the issue. On June 20, 2004, both countries agreed to extend a nuclear testing ban and to set up a hotline between their foreign secretaries aimed at preventing misunderstandings that might lead to a nuclear war.
Pakistan shares a long and porous border with Afghanistan (also called the Durand Line). The border is poorly marked. The problem is exacerbated by close relations between the fiercely-independent Pashtun peoples who live on both sides of the border.
Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Pakistani Government played a vital role in supporting the Afghan resistance movement and assisting Afghan refugees. After the Soviet withdrawal in February 1989, Pakistan, with cooperation from the world community, continued to provide extensive support for displaced Afghans. In 1999, the United States provided approximately $70 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in Pakistan, mainly through multilateral organizations and NGOs.
The overthrow of the Taliban Regime in November 2001 has seen somewhat strained relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The present administration in Kabul feels that the remnants of the former Taliban government are being supported by certain factions within Pakistan.
A large share of Afghanistan's foreign trade is either with, or passes through, Pakistan.
Pakistan enjoys warm relations with Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan), despite the strained early days of their relationship. Landmarks in their reconciliation are:
• An August 1973 agreement between Bangladesh and Pakistan on the repatriation of numerous individuals, including 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war stranded in Bangladesh as a result of the 1971 conflict;
• A February 1974 accord by Bangladesh and Pakistan on mutual diplomatic recognition, followed more than 2 years later by establishment of formal diplomatic relations on January 18th 1976;
• The organization by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of an airlift that moved almost 250,000 Bengalis from Pakistan to Bangladesh, and non-Bengalis from Bangladesh to Pakistan; and
• Exchanges of high-level visits, including a visit by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to Bangladesh in 1989 and visits by Prime Minister khalida Zia to Pakistan in 1992 and in 1995.
Still to be resolved are the division of assets from the pre-1971 period and the status of more than 250,000 non-Bengalis who are ethnically Biharis also known as Stranded Pakistanis remaining in Bangladesh but seeking resettlement in Pakistan.
Soviet Union/Russian Federation
Under military leader Ayub Khan, Pakistan sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union; trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries increased between 1966 and 1971. However, Soviet criticism of Pakistan's position in the 1971 war with India weakened bilateral relations, and many Pakistanis believed that the August 1971 Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Peace and Cooperation encouraged Indian belligerency. Subsequent Soviet arms sales to India, amounting to billions of dollars on concessional terms, reinforced this argument.
During the 1980s, tensions increased between the Soviet Union and Pakistan because of the latter's key role in helping to organize political and material support for the Afghan rebel forces. The withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and the collapse of the former Soviet Union resulted in significantly improved bilateral relations, but Pakistan's support for and recognition of the Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan remained an ongoing source of tension. Later on, government of Pakistan changed its policy towards Taliban when it joined US forces in helping to overthrow them following attacks in the US on the 11th of September 2001.
In 2007, the relations between Pakistan and the Russian Federation were reactivated after the 3-day official visit of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. He is the first Russian prime minister to visit Pakistan in the post Soviet Union era in 38 years. He had "in-depth discussions" with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The major focus of the visit was to improve bilateral relations with particular emphasis on ways and means to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. During the visit, two Memorandum of understanding were signed, under an MOU, the Russian Federation will cooperate with Pakistan Railways for construction of new railway tracks, supply of sleepers and signaling system, up-gradation of a railway workshops and setting up of Metro Railways in major cities of Pakistan. Under another MOU, the two countries will work for promoting cultural, educational and scientific changes.
Historically, Iran was the first nation to recognize Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan has had close geopolitical and cultural-religious linkages with Iran. However, strains in the relationship appeared in the 1990s, when Pakistan and Iran supported opposing factions in the Afghan conflict. Also, some Pakistanis suspect Iranian support for the sectarian violence which has plagued Pakistan. Nevertheless, Pakistan pursues an active diplomatic relationship with Iran, including recent overtures to seek a negotiated settlement between Afghanistan's warring factions. Pakistan also supports Iran's use of Nuclear Technology for peaceful purposes. On January 27th 2006, Pakistan, Iran, and India agreed to start work on IPI gas line which Pakistan needs to shrink the gap of Demand and supply of energy in Pakistan to maintain economic growth.
It is still not exactly clear when Pakistan opened diplomatic ties to North Korea. It is said to be somewhere in the 1970s. Recent developments indicate that their relations were kept secretive to avoid suspicion from the west and the risk of economic sanctions.
United Kingdom & Commonwealth
Pakistan has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations since independence in 1947. It was not a member of the British Commonwealth from 1972 until 1989, because of the Commonwealth's recognition of Bangladesh. It was readmitted to full membership of the Commonwealth in October 1989. It was suspended with the overthrow of the democratically elected government in 1999. Its full membership has been reinstated with the backing of the United Kingdom and Australia for Pakistan's support in the War on Terrorism. Pakistan maintains diplomatic relations with all Commonwealth countries even though it does not have its own High Commission in each capital.
Persian Gulf and Arab states
Despite popular support by many people in Pakistan for Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War, the Pakistani government supported the coalition against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and sent 11,600 troops. Pakistan enjoys close ties with the governments of the Persian Gulf particularly Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
United States of America
Historically, no ally of the United States has faced as many sanctions from the US as Pakistan. The United States established diplomatic relations with Pakistan in 1949; reluctantly, at first. Since the Eisenhower administration, however, Pakistan and the US began developing more cosy relations. The American agreement to provide economic and military assistance to Pakistan and the latter's partnership in the Baghdad Pact, CENTO and SEATO strengthened relations between the two nations. At the time, its relationship with the U.S. was so close and friendly that it was called the United State’s "most-allied ally" in Asia. Pakistanis felt betrayed and ill-compensated for the risks incurred in supporting the U.S. - after the U-2 Crisis of 1960, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had threatened the nuclear annihilation of Pakistani cities. The U.S. suspension of military assistance during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war generated a widespread feeling in Pakistan that the United States was not a reliable ally. Even though the United States suspended military assistance to both countries involved in the conflict, the suspension of aid affected Pakistan much more severely. Gradually, relations improved and arms sales were renewed in 1975. Then, in April 1979, the United States cut off economic assistance to Pakistan, except food assistance, as required under the Symington Amendment to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, due to concerns about Pakistan's nuclear program.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 highlighted the common interest of Pakistan and the United States in peace and stability in South Asia. In 1981, the United States and Pakistan agreed on a $3.2-billion military and economic assistance program aimed at helping Pakistan deal with the heightened threat to security in the region and its economic development needs. With U.S. assistance - in the largest covert operation in history - Pakistan armed and supplied anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, eventually defeating the Soviets, who withdrew in 1988.
Recognizing national security concerns and accepting Pakistan's assurances that it did not intend to construct a nuclear weapon, Congress waived restrictions (Symington Amendment) on military assistance to Pakistan. In March 1986, the two countries agreed on a second multi-year (FY 1988-93) $4-billion economic development and security assistance program. On October 1, 1990, however, the United States suspended all military assistance and new economic aid to Pakistan under the Pressler Amendment, which required that the President certify annually that Pakistan "does not possess a nuclear explosive device."
India's decision to conduct nuclear tests in May 1998 and Pakistan's matching response set back U.S. relations in the region, which had seen renewed U.S. Government interest during the second Clinton Administration. A presidential visit scheduled for the first quarter of 1998 was postponed and, under the Glenn Amendment, sanctions restricted the provision of credits, military sales, economic assistance, and loans to the government. An intensive dialogue on nuclear nonproliferation and security issues between Deputy Secretary Talbott and Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad was initiated, with discussions focusing on CTBT signature and ratification, FMCT negotiations, export controls, and a nuclear restraint regime. The October 1999 overthrow of the democratically elected Sharif government triggered an additional layer of sanctions under Section 508 of the Foreign Appropriations Act which include restrictions on foreign military financing and economic assistance. U.S. Government assistance to Pakistan was limited mainly to refugee and counter-narcotics assistance.
Pakistan moved decisively to ally itself with the United States in its war against Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. It provided the U.S. a number of military airports and bases, for its attack on Afghanistan. It has arrested over five hundred Al-Qaeda members and handed them over to the United States; senior U.S. officers have been lavish in their praise of Pakistani efforts. Since this strategic re-alignment towards U.S. policy, economic and military assistance has been flowing from the U.S. to Pakistan and sanctions have been lifted. In the three years before the attacks of September 11, Pakistan received approximately $9 million in American military aid. In the three years after, the number increased to $4.2 billion.
In June 2004, President Bush designated Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally, making it eligible, among other things, to purchase advanced American military technology. In May, 2006, The Bush administration announced a major sale of missiles to Pakistan, valued at $370 Million USD.
• Durand line issue with Afghanistan.
• Status of Kashmir with the Indian Republic.
• Boundary issues in the Rann of Kutch and the Ferozepur and Pathankot issues of the Radcliffe Line with the Republic of India.
• Please note: northern boundaries have been in dispute more or less since the end of the colonial era in 1947. Maps representing a Pakistani perspective indicate the nation's boundaries (and the status of Kashmir) quite differently from maps representing the perspective of the Government of India. The matter both reflects and generates conflicts.
• Water-sharing problems with India over the Indus River (Wular Barrage)
• Illicit drugs
o Pakistan is also a producer of illicit opium and hashish for the international drug trade (poppy cultivation in 1999 - 15.7 km², a 48% drop from 1998 because of eradication and alternative development); key transit area for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western markets; narcotics still move from Afghanistan into Balochistan, Pakistan.