elations between India and Pakistan worsened in 2016.
This worries world leaders. The South Asian neighbors have fought
several wars and each has nuclear weapons.
The two countries had better relations a year ago. Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi surprised many observers when he went to the wedding of
the granddaughter of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last
December. Many hoped the visit would improve relations that had been
tense for months.
FILE – Pakistan army soldiers gather at a forward area post on the
Line of Control (LOC) that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India,
in Tatta Pani, some 200 km, from Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 1, 2016. On
Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, Pakistan’s army claimed
But in January, Kashmiri militants attacked an Indian air base in
Pathankot, 50 kilometers from the Pakistani border. The attack damaged
relations between Pakistan and India.
In July, Indian troops shot and killed Burhan Wani, a young Kashmiri
separatist leader. People protested his killing for months. Indian
troops and protesters fought. Many people, including security forces,
Pakistan strongly supports those who are fighting for Kashmiri
independence from India. Pakistani leaders worked in international
meetings to bring attention to reported human rights violations in the
area. The Modi administration then protested reported human rights
violations by Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan province. Indian
leaders had never done that before. Tensions worsened further.
In September, four gunmen attacked an Indian military base in Uri, in
Kashmir. Eighteen Indian soldiers were killed. India blamed the attack
on militant groups based in Pakistan.
Modi said he would try toisolatePakistan internationally.
The same week, Sharif strongly criticized India in a speech to the
United Nations General Assembly.
“Thisindigenousuprising of the Kashmiris had been met, as usual,
with brutal repression by India’s occupation force of over half a
India reacted sharply to the speech. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj
suggested that Pakistan is a supporter and exporter of terrorism.
Soon, India said it had carried out attacks against militants on the
Pakistani side of the Kashmiri border. Pakistan rejected the claim. But
it warned that it would consider any such attacks acts of war.
Continued fighting along the so-called Line of Control has killed many
people, most of them civilians. The line is unofficially considered the
border in Kashmir.
Pakistan’s army trained near the Indian border. Then, India persuaded
some countries not to attend a meeting of nations planned for Islamabad.
Pakistan was forced to cancel the meeting.
The two countries continue to attack one another, but many observers
hope relations will improve in 2017.