File Photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )
As we ring in India's 72nd Independence Day, here's a quick look at a timeline of Indo-Pak ties.
The year 1947 was significant for two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours - India and Pakistan. While the former attained freedom from the clutches of nearly 100 years of oppressive British Raj, Pakistan was born after painful dismembering from India.
Seventy one years hence, tensions between India and Pakistan seem to see no end. As we ring in India's 72nd Independence Day, here's a quick look at a timeline of Indo-Pak ties.
The Indo-Pak divide led to what history will also remember as one of the largest exoduses of all times. Shortly after the Partition, the neighbouring nations began fighting over Kashmir - an issue that still remains contentious to New Delhi and Islamabad.
Shortly after the Partition, the neighbouring nations began fighting over Kashmir - an issue that still remains contentious to New Delhi and Islamabad.
The war came to an end in the year 1949 with United Nations' intervention which called for a permanent ceasefire in place.
Shortly after the futile talks, India and Pakistan fought another war in 1965 after nearly 30,000 Pakistani soldiers violated the Line of Control (LoC) and entered into Indian-administered Kashmir. UN called for a ceasefire after which state leaders of both the countries, Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shashtri and Pakistan's President General Ayub Khan, signed the Tashkent accord agreeing to restore peace and diplomatic ties.
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Peace was called for again when Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto signed the Shimla accord in 1972 agreeing to resolve tensions through peaceful measures. Shortly after, in the year 1976, Samjhauta Express was flagged off between Lahore and New Delhi.
A nuclear agreement was signed in 1988 with both the countries agreeing not to attack each other's nuclear installations and share related information periodically.
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto signed the Shimla accord in 1972
Tensions escalated when violence erupted in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989. Political parties accused the state government of rigging state polls and militant factions gained prominence. India, in turn, blamed Pakistan for fomenting trouble in the Valley and giving rise to militant activities, a charge denied by Islamabad till date.
The onset on the 1990s saw a number of agreements and accords signed between the two nations on military exercises, airspace violations, chemical weapons, nuclear activity and Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
Right before the turn of the century, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration to reiterate commitment toward the Shimla accord of 1972 and build trust, and confidence via 'peaceful measures'. India, Pakistan fought the Kargil War the same year in May.
Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration in 1999.
Things went downhill after Pakistan's military chief Pervez Musharraf toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a military coup and assumed power tensions along the Line of Control escalated. A summit between Musharraf and Vajpayee in Agra failed miserably with no consensus reached on Kashmir.
India kept blaming Pakistan for terror attacks, militant infiltration, and ceasefire violations. While denying all these charges, Pakistan reiterated its right over Kashmir.
Despite tensions, efforts were made to smoothen Indo-Pak ties - anti-terrorism mechanism was put in place, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were reviewed, trade routes were announced including a nod to cross LoC trade in 2008.
All efforts were soiled when a terror attack jolted Mumbai in 2008. India was angered when the prime suspect of the attack, Ajmal Kasab of Pakistani nationality, admitted the attackers to have belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant group headed by Hafiz Saeed and operating out of Pakistan.
While Pakistan admitted the possibility of Mumbai attacks to have been plotted on its soil, it ruled out any involvement of its establishments, including the intelligence service.
India broke off talks with Pakistan. A dossier was shared with Pakistan over Mumbai terror attacks. Foreign ministers and leaders from both sides met each other over the years with no substantial consensus attained on any issue. Meanwhile, Ajmal Kasab was found guilty on various charges and was hanged in 2012.
Tensions across the LoC intensified over the years with both sides blaming each other. Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif in 2014 described Kashmir as Pakistan's "jugular vein" and called for a peaceful resolution to the issue that is in the best interest of the people of Kashmir.
The frequency of ceasefire violations by Pakistan has dramatically increased in the last five years.
Minister of State (MoS), Defence Ministry Subhash Bhamre in July said that there were 152 cases of ceasefire violations in 2015 that went up to 228 in 2016 and a whopping 860 last year.
This year, till July 23, Pakistan had already violated ceasefire 942 times.
While 71 years have passed, India and Pakistan have still not been able to bury the hatchet. Pakistan's Prime Minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan, has expressed willingness to resolve the Kashmir issue with India. Khan last week met with Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, Ajay Bisaria.
With the "historic" shift in Pakistan's diplomatic fabric and the emergence of a face that promises peace in the sub-continent, one can at least expect better turn in Indo-Pak ties this Independence Day and going forward.