Here's a little something that comes from the Rand McNally World Facts and Maps, 1999 edition
"Cold War on the Subcontinent; India and Pakistan
Issues and Events
Relations between India and Paksistan were already strained when Kashmiri separatists in India began to wage a major terrorism campaign in 1988. Ongoing bombings, kidnappings, and strtikes prompted the Indiand gonvernment to send in troops to the area in December 1989. Massive demonstrations ensued, and Pakistan accused Indian troops of indiscriminate burnings, shootings, abductions, and torture of innocent Muslim Kashmiris. India accused Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri rebels in camps on the Pakistani side of the border, known as Azad Kashmir. Pakistan denied training the rebels, but continued to champion their cause and provide them with arms.
Kashmiris are divided on the future of the region: Some favor union with Pakistan, while others what independence. The Pakistani government wants India to allow the Kashmiris to decide their own future. India maintains that Jammu and Kashmir are integral parts of India.
Tensions remain high, and thousands are killed each year. In 1992 war was narrowly averted when Pakistani radicals tried to march onto India. They were stopped only after Pakistani troops opened fire on the group. In 1995 violence escalated after Indian police besieged an Islamic shrine occupied by Kashmiri rebels. More than 600 homes and businesses were engulfed by an ensuing fire. Both the Indian army and Pakistan militants were accused of setting the blaze.
Although these and many other incidents have been resolved without disaster, more than 150,000 Indian and Pakistani troops are stationed in the region and there is a constant threat of all out war. Sporadic artillery battles continued throughout 1997.
The threat of a nuclear confrontation continues to increase. India first tested nuclear weapons in 1974, and in 1988 it became a nuclear weapons state after sucessfully completeing a series of underground tests. Pakistan was outraged by the testing and responded with its own underground tests. Both countries are poor and cannot afford to divert their scarce resources to a nuclear arms race. However, India claims that it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against China, and Pakistan asserts that it must provide a clear nuclear deterrent to India.
Home to both Hindus and Muslims, Jammu and Kashmir has long served as a battleground. Trouble began when Britain created two independent countries in the region. Pakistan was envisioned as a Muslim homeland, and India, although predominately Hindu, was established as a secular nation. Jammu and Kashmir was given the opportunity join either India or Pakistan, but it held out for independence.
On October 1947 Pakistani-backed Kashmiri militants demanding independence led an armed revolt. The Kashmiri government enlisted the aid of India to stop the violence, leading to the first war between India and Pakistan. According to the terms of a truce in 1949, the Kashmiri people were to be allowed to determine their future by means of a plebiscite, or referendum.
War broke out again in 1965 when armed Azad Kashmir troops from Pakistan once again invaded India. More than 20,000 people were killed in the month of fighting that ensued. The next crises began in 1971, when Pakistan accused India of aiding East Pakistan (now Bengladesh) in its quest for independence. In retaliation Pakistan invaded Jammu and Kashmir, but was defeated. The fighting lasted only two weeks but left 11,000 people dead.