Once unified as a single territory under British rule, India and Pakistan have struggled to create their own unique identities — often by pointing to their differences and allying themselves with different world powers. Kashmir has always been the flashpoint between them.
Here are some key dates in India-Pakistan relations that helped define the dispute over Kashmir:
August 1947 — Britain leaves the Indian subcontinent, divided as predominantly Hindu India and mainly Muslim Pakistan. Massive migrations of Hindus and Muslims to their country of choice triggers violence, leaving more than a million people dead.
October 1947 — India and Pakistan fight their first war over control of Muslim-majority Kashmir, a kingdom ruled by Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh. The war ends in 1948 with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, leaving Kashmir divided between the two nations, with the promise of a U.N.-sponsored referendum.
January 1949 — India and Pakistan agree to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir but fail to strike a truce amid disagreements over how to demilitarize.
September 1960 — India and Pakistan sign the World Bank-brokered Indus Water Treaty for the utilization of the Indus rivers system. The treaty gives control over waters of three rivers each to India and Pakistan.
August 1965 — Second war over Kashmir erupts.
September 1965 — India and Pakistan agree to U.N.-mandated cease-fire, ending a stalemated war.
January 1966 —The Soviet Union mediates peace between Pakistan and India in Tashkent in present-day Uzbekistan, with the two sides agreeing to withdraw to the positions they held prior to the outbreak of war in August 1965.
December 1971 — A third war between India and Pakistan in East Pakistan ends with the creation of Bangladesh.
July 1972 — Indian and Pakistani prime ministers meet and sign an accord for the return of tens of thousands of Pakistani prisoners of war. They also rename the cease-fire line in Kashmir the “Line of Control.”
May 1974 — India detonates a nuclear device in western Rajasthan desert, a first confirmed nuclear test by a nation outside the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
December 1988 — India and Pakistan sign an agreement that neither will attack each other’s nuclear installations or facilities; deal goes into effect in 1991.
December 1989 — Armed resistance to Indian rule in Kashmir begins. India says Pakistan supports fighters with weapons and training, labels attacks against it in Kashmir “cross-border terrorism.” Pakistan says it gives Kashmiris “moral and diplomatic” support, demanding a U.N.-sponsored public referendum.
August 1992 — Joint declaration signed by India and Pakistan in New Delhi prohibits use of chemical weapons.
May 1998 — India detonates five nuclear devices at Pokhran, in Rajasthan. Pakistan responds by detonating six of its own in the Chaghai Hills. The tests result in international sanctions against both.
February 1999 — Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee rides a bus to eastern Pakistani city of Lahore to meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and sign a major peace accord.
May 1999 — Fresh conflict erupts, Pakistani forces and Kashmiri fighters occupy some Himalayan peaks on the Indian side of Kashmir. India launches a counter offensive using air force and artillery. The U.S. brokers peace.
May 2001 — Prime Minister Vajpayee and Pakistani President Gen.
Pervez Musharraf meet in the northern Indian city of Agra, home to Taj Mahal, the monument of love, aiming to resolve the Kashmir dispute, other issues between them. The summit ends without any agreement.
October 2001 — Insurgents attack the legislature building in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing 38 people and escalating tensions.
December 2001 — Gunmen attack Indian parliament in New Delhi, killing 14. India blames Pakistani insurgent groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, and masses troops along its western frontier with Pakistan and the Kashmir boundary. The standoff ends in October 2002 after international mediation.
January 2004 —Musharraf and Vajpayee hold direct talks on the sidelines of a regional summit in Islamabad, launching bilateral, official-level meetings to settle outstanding issues.
February 2007 — A train running between India and Pakistan, known as the Samjhauta Express, is bombed near Panipat, north of New Delhi, killing 68.
October 2008 — India and Pakistan open a trade route across divided Kashmir, the first in six decades.
November 2008 — Gunmen mount audacious attacks in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, killing 166 people. India blames a Pakistan-based militant group.
November 2012 — India executes the lone surviving Pakistani gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, four years after his capture during the Mumbai terror attacks.
September 2013 — Prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, agree to end tensions between their armies in Kashmir.
May 2014 — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invites his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to New Delhi for his inauguration.
December 2015 — Modi makes a surprise visit to the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Sharif’s birthday and the wedding of his granddaughter.
January 2016 — Six gunmen attack an Indian air force base in the northern town of Pathankot bordering Pakistan, killing seven soldiers and paralyzing the base for days.
July 2016 — Indian soldiers kill charismatic Kashmiri rebel leader Burhan Wani, sparking months of anti-India protests and deadly clashes across the region that kill 90 and injure thousands.
September 2016 — Suspected rebels sneak into an army base in Indian-controlled Kashmir and kill at least 18 soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks on a base in the region; four attackers are also killed. Indian forces later attack militant launch pads in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, inflicting an unknown number of casualties.
May 2018 — India and Pakistan agree to respect a cease-fire after months of skirmishes along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
August 2018 — Newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan offers to start a dialogue with India; Modi congratulates Khan after his swearing-in, expressing a desire for talks.
Feb. 14, 2019 — A car bombing of a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir kills 40 Indian soldiers. Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, headquartered in Pakistan, claims responsibility. India blames Pakistan and promises “crushing response.”
Feb. 26 — India launches what it calls a pre-emptive strike on what is says was a terrorist training camp in Pakistan; Islamabad says an empty forested area was hit.
Feb. 27 — Pakistan says it shot down two Indian warplanes and captured a pilot.
Feb. 28 — Khan calls for negotiations and promises to release pilot the following day.