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Kashmiri Shell Game

1999 News of the World

The disputed region of Kashmir has been at the root of chronic antagonism between Pakistan and India, and their enmity has grown potentially more dangerous now that both have demonstrated nuclear weapon capabilities. Insurgent forces—which Pakistan claims are autonomous Kashmiri “freedom fighters”—made incursions into Indian-controlled Kashmiri territory in May 1999. According to New Delhi, these troops were in fact Pakistani army regulars and Muslim mercenaries, a view shared by most of the world. India fought back with air strikes and ground troops, and by August Pakistan retreated.

The Pakistani military, deeply unhappy with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's handling of the Kashmir crisis as well as other issues, deposed him on Oct. 12, and Gen. Pervez Musharraf took control. The Pakistani public, accustomed to military rule for 25 of the nation's 52-year history, generally viewed the coup as a positive step, and hoped it would bring a badly needed economic upswing.


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