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Kashmir - A Flashpoint Between India and Pakistan


The Himalayan region of Kashmir, the epicenter of Saturday's massive earthquake, is claimed by both India and Pakistan.

The nations have fought two wars over the territory prized for its strategic location and natural beauty. Each country controls part of Kashmir, divided by the line of control. The line was drawn after India and Pakistan fought their first Kashmir war in 1948, after Kashmir's king decided to join his region with India.

Pakistan argues all of Kashmir should be part of Pakistan because the majority of the region is Muslim. Indian-Kashmir is the only Indian state with a Muslim majority.

The dispute over the region has left thousands dead. Armed separatists fighting Indian rule launch frequent attacks in the territory, and Indian and Pakistani troops are often blamed for firing across the border. In 2002, both sides massed troops along the line of control after an attack on the Indian parliament in New Delhi. India blamed Pakistani militants. Pakistan denied the charge.

Days before the earthquake, the nuclear-armed rivals issued a joint pledge to make sincere efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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