India-Pakistan Relations Timeline of Events (1947-2014)

Sandarbha Desk
Sandarbha Desk

India-Pakistan Relations Timeline

1947– The British officials as part of their pullout from the Indian subcontinent, divided it into two parts- Muslim Pakistan and secular (but mainly Hindu) India on August 14 and 15 respectively. The partition sparked riots and violence across the subcontinent and witnessed one of the largest human migrations ever seen.


1947-48 – Armed tribesmen (Lashkars) from Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (now called Khyber-Pakthunkhwa) invaded the disputed territory of Kashmir in October 1947. This led to the first Indo-Pak war over Kashmir. In the face of invasion, Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir acceded to India in return for the assistance of the Indian Armed forces. He handed over the control of defence, communication and foreign affairs to the Indian Government.

The war ended on January 1, 1949 after the United Nations arranged a ceasefire, with an established ceasefire line, a UN peacekeeping force and a recommendation that a referendum on the accession of Kashmir to India be held. That referendum is yet o be held.

Both countries refer to the other side of the ceasefire line as “occupied” territory.

1954- The accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was ratified by the state’s constituent assembly.

1957- The Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir approved a separate Constitution for itself. India, from then onward, began to refer to the state as being an integral part of the Indian Union.

1963- In the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Swaran Singh and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto-the foreign minister of India and Pakistan respectively held talks regarding the Kashmir dispute under the auspices of the British and the Americans. But no agreement could be reached between the two countries.

1964- As a result of the failure of talks in 1963, Pakistan referred the Kashmir issue to the UNSC.

1965- A clash between border patrols in April in the Rann of Kutch, which escalated on August 5 when thousands of Pakistani soldiers crossed the ceasefire line dressed as Kashmiri locals and entered Indian administered Kashmir, led to the second Indo-Pak War. Both sides agreed to a UN mandated ceasefire by September 22. This ended the war which had by then reached a point of stalemate, with both sides holding some of the other’s territory.

1966- On January 10, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakitani President Ayub Khan signed an agreement at Tashkent known as the Tashkent Declaration and agreed to withdraw to pre-conflict positions and restoring the economic and diplomatic relations.

1971- The Central Government of Pakistan refused to allow Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a Bengali whose party won the majority seats in the 1970 parliamentary elections, to assume the premiership. A Pakistani military crackdown on Dhaka began in March.

After the Pakistani Air force launched pre-emptive strike on airfields in India’s north-west, the third Indo-Pak war began in December. India launched a coordinated land, air and sea assault on East Pakistan. This led Pakistani Army to surrender in Dhaka and thousands of Pakistani soldiers became prisoners of war.

East Pakistan got independence on December 6, 1971 and became Bangladesh.

1972- The Simla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. Both countries agreed to “put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the subcontinent.” They agreed to settle any disputes “by peaceful means”.

The Simla Agreement designated the ceasefire line of December 17, 1971 as the new Line of Control (LOC) between the two countries, which neither side can alter unilaterally and which ”shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side”.

1974- Kashmir Government affirmed that the state “is a constituent unit of the union of India”.

In May, India exploded a nuclear device at Pokhran, referred by India as a “peaceful nuclear explosive”. The operation was code-named “Smiling Buddha”.

1988- The two countries signed an agreement, which was later ratified, that neither side will attack the other’s nuclear installations or facilities which include “nuclear power and research reactors, fuel fabrication, uranium enrichment, isotopes separation and reprocessing facilities as well as any other installations with fresh or irradiated nuclear fuel and materials in any form and establishments storing significant quantities of radio-active materials”.

They also agreed to share the latitudes and longitudes of all nuclear installations and have been sharing information on January 1 each year since then.

1989- Muslim political parties accused the state government of Kashmir of rigging the 1987 elections and formed militant wings which displayed armed resistance to the Indian rule in the valley.

Pakistan said that it gave its “moral and diplomatic” support to the movement and called for the earlier UN sponsored referendum again. India blamed Pakistan for providing weapons and training to the fighters and called it as ” cross-border terrorism”. The allegation was refuted by Pakistan. The armed resistance continued through the 1990s and was also fueled in part by a large influx of “mujahideen” who took part in the Afghan war against the Soviets in the 1980s.

1991- Agreements were signed between the two countries to provide advance notification of military exercises, manoeuvres and troop movements, and also to prevent airspace violations and establishing overflight rules.

1992- To prohibit the use of chemical weapons, a joint declaration was signed between India and Pakistan.

1996- In order to ease tensions after a series of clashes, military officers from both sides met at the LoC.

1998- International sanctions were placed on both countries, after India detonated five nuclear devices at Pokhran to which Pakistan responded by detonating six nuclear devices in the Chaghai Hills.

Both countries also carried out tests of long range missiles in the same year.

1999- The two countries signed the Lahore Declaration and reaffirmed their commitment to the 1972 Simla Agreement and also agreed to take a number of “Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)”.

The Kargil War broke out in May when Pakistani forces and Kashmiri fighters occupied strategic positions on the Indian side of the LoC.

In October 1999, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup and deposed Nawaz Sharif, the then PM of Pakistan and made himself the head of the government.

2001- The Kashmiri State Legislative Assembly in Srinagar was attacked. As a result, Farooq Abdullah, the then CM of Indian Administered Kashmir, called on the Indian government to launch a full scale military operation against alleged training camps in Pakistan.

In July, a two day summit between the two countries was held in Agra. But the summit failed as the two sides could not reach an agreement of the Kashmir issue.

In December, an armed attack of the Indian Parliament left 14 dead. India blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad for the attacks.

2002- Pervez Musharraf pledged that Pakistan will combat extremism on its own soil, but also affirmed that it has a right to Kashmir.

2003- The two countries reached an agreement to cool tensions and stop hostilities across the border.

2004- In January, direct talks were held between Vajpayee and Musharraf on the sidelines of the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries also met later in the year.

A beginning of the Composite Dialogue Process also took place, in which bilateral meetings are held at various levels of government.

PM Manmohan Singh also announced that India will reduce its deployment of troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

2006- India redeployed 5,000 troops from Jammu and Kashmir due to improvement in the situation there.

The two countries could not reach an agreement on withdrawing forces from the Siachen Glacier.

In September, the two countries agreed to put into place an Indo-Pak institutional anti-terrorism mechanism.

2007- 68 people were killed in the Samjhauta Express bombing near Panipat.

The fifth round of talks to review the nuclear and ballistic missile related CBMs was held as part of the Composite Dialogue Process.

The second round of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism (JATM) was also held.

2008- India joined a framework agreement with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan (TAPI) on a $7.6 billion gas pipeline project.

In July, India blamed Pakistan for bombing the Indian embassy in Kabul.

In September, both sides announced opening up of several trade routes between them.

In October, cross LoC trade started though limited in number of items to be traded and the number of days on which trading was allowed.

In November, in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, India broke off talks with Pakistan.

2009- The Pakistani government denied allegations that Pakistani intelligence agencies had aided the plotters of the Mumbai attacks.

The PMs of both countries met on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Egypt and issued a joint statement charting future talks. The Indian PM, however, ruled out the resumption of the Composite Dialogue Process at that time.

India asked Pakistan to take the first step in resuming substantive talks by cracking down on militant groups there.

In August, India gave Pakistan evidence regarding the Mumbai attacks and asked it to prosecute Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

2010- In January, the forces exchanged firing across the LoC in Kashmir.

In February, the foreign secretaries of the two countries met in New Delhi for talks which was followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries in Islamabad in July.

In May, Ajmal Kasab who was found guilty in the Mumbai attacks case was sentenced to death.

2011- In January, India said that it will share information with Pakistan regarding the 2001 Samjhauta Express blast.

In February, the Foreign Secretaries of both sides met in Nepal, and agreed to resume peace talks on all issues.

2012- In November, India executed Ajmal Kasab days before the fourth anniversary of the attack.

2013- In September, the PMs of the two countries met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and agreed to put an end to tensions between armies of both sides in the disputed Kashmir.

2014- In February, India and Pakistan agreed to release trucks detained in their respective territories.

In May, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said that the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people and also according to the UNSC resolutions for lasting peace in the region.

In May again, Pakistan released 151 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi.

Two days later, PM Modi held talks with Pakistani PM Nawaz Sahrif in New Delhi, where both sides expressed their willingness to begin a new era of bilateral relations.


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