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  1. Kashmir: 200 Years of Blood
    in "Paradise on Earth"

  2. 1819

    As the Mughal Empire crumbles, the Afghans and Sikhs fight over the crumbs. A Sikh army wins the Battle of Shopian and takes over Kashmir.

  3. 1834

    Zorawar Singh Kahluria, the Dogra general of the Sikh Empire, leads audacious campaigns in high altitudes to conquer Buddhist Ladakh and Shia Baltistan.

  4. 1841

    Kahluria ends up with a lance in his chest in his attempt to conquer western Tibet. The Sikh Empire now controls a swathe of territory—which includes modern-day Jammu, Kashmir, Baltistan and Ladakh—currently shared between India, Pakistan and China.

  5. 1846

    Gulab Singh Jamwal, the Dogra general of a fast-tottering Sikh Empire, strikes out on his own with British blessings. The lands of Jammu, Kashmir, Baltistan and Ladakh that the Sikhs ceded to the British are now sold to Jamwal for 7,500,000 Nanakshahi Rupees. The kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir goes on to become one of the 584 princely states of British India.

  6. 1857

    As the Gangetic plains erupt in revolt, the Dogras stay loyal to the British. Not only do Kashmir's rulers give refuge to British women and children, they also send troops who help win back Delhi from Indian mutineers. The British reward them for their loyalty and increase their gun salute from 19 to 21.

  7. 1925

    Hari Singh, the former pageboy of Lord Curzon, ascends the throne. Weak, profligate and dissolute, he becomes known more for a scandal involving a Parisian prostitute than any achievement in war or peace.

  8. 1931

    Molvi Abdullah, a polymath and lawyer, leads a public agitation for liberty, justice and democracy. He fires up Kashmiri youth to rise up against the effete king who appoints a grievances commission with experienced colonial administrator Sir Bertrand James Glancy as president.

  9. 1932

    Mohammed Abdullah Sheikh, better known as Sheikh Abdullah, along with Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Molvi Abdul Rahim, the son of Molvi Abdullah, start the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference. It is the first political party in the kingdom and aims to contest elections for the new legislative assembly that Glancy recommends the king set up.

  10. 1934

    Praja Sabha, the new legislative assembly, is formed. Women do not have the vote. Neither do illiterate men without sufficient property, title, or annual income. Scholars estimate 3-10% of the population has the vote. The king retains all the power.

  11. 1937

    Sheikh Abdullah meets Jawaharlal Nehru and they become close friends. Both of them are demanding similar rights for their people from the British rulers and their stooges. Nehru supports the people of princely states in their struggle for a representative government.

  12. 1939

    After a prolonged and vigorous campaign, 172 out of 176 members vote in a special session of the Muslim Conference to change its name to the National Conference. From now on, the party is open to all religions. Reportedly, Abdullah is inspired by Nehru to make this change in his party.

  13. 1941

    Not everyone agrees with Sheikh Abdullah. His former comrade-in-arms Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas revives the Muslim Conference. It soon becomes client to Muhammad Ali Jinnah's All-India Muslim League which wants to create Pakistan.

  14. 1946

    Sheikh Abdullah launches the Quit Kashmir agitation against Hari Singh. He is arrested and is sentenced to three years imprisonment.

  15. 1947

    As British India heads for partition, the Muslim Conference leads a revolt against Hari Singh in Poonch. Riots break out. Muslims kill Hindus and Sikhs. Singh's forces massacre Muslims in retaliation. The violence unleashed by the partition reaches Kashmir.

  16. October 26, 1947

    Even as Hari Singh dreams of ruling independently, Pakistan sees Muslim-majority Kashmir as a natural part of its territory. Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas appeals for help and Pakistan sends Pashtun tribesmen to take over. Singh panics and signs the Instrument of Accession on October 26. Indian soldiers land in Srinagar and the first India-Pakistan war begins.

  17. January 1, 1948

    As Indian troops push back Pashtuns and Pakistani troops, Jawaharlal Nehru, who has taken over as India’s first prime minister, approaches the newly formed United Nations Security Council on January 1. He pulls troops back, ceding land to Pakistan. The Line of Control (LoC) becomes the de facto border between the two countries.

  18. April 21, 1948

    In a historic resolution, the United Nations Security Council calls for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan is supposed to withdraw its troops and India to reduce its forces “to the minimum strength," only for the "maintenance of law and order.” Both parties ignore the resolution.

  19. April 1949

    Azad Kashmir, the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan, signs the Karachi Agreement with Islamabad, ceding control over defense and foreign affairs. Islamabad also assumes direct control of Gilgit-Baltistan. The agreement would remain a secret till the 1990s.

  20. June 1949

    Hari Singh releases Sheikh Abdullah and loses power. Abdullah and other delegates from the National Conference join the Constituent Assembly of India.

  21. October 1949

    The Constituent Assembly of India adopts Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, an interim measure giving special status and autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi's jurisdiction is limited to just three areas: defense, foreign affairs and communications.

  22. October 1951

    Elections are held for the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, with 75 seats allocated to the India-administered part of Kashmir and 25 seats reserved for the Pakistan-administered part. Sheikh Abdullah's National Conference wins all 75 seats and draft a new constitution.

  23. July 1952

    Sheikh Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru conclude Delhi Agreement. Jammu and Kashmir gets autonomy. It promises its regions, like Jammu and Ladakh, autonomy too.

  24. May 1953

    Syama Prasad Mukherjee enters Jammu and Kashmir. He is the leader of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, the forerunner of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and opposes Article 370. Sheikh Abdullah arrests Mukherjee, who dies in suspicious circumstances. Popular unrest breaks out but Nehru refuses to order an inquiry.

  25. 1954

    A presidential order under Article 370 gives Jammu and Kashmir the right to define permanent residents. Others cannot vote, stand for elections, own property, buy land, get government employment or gain any other benefits in the state. The order becomes Article 35A and meets resentment because no other Indian state has such privileges.

  26. 1959

    After the Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama flees to India and China formally annexes Tibet. A few years earlier, China had taken over Aksai Chin, a part of Ladakh that India claimed. India-China tensions rise.

  27. 1960

    India and Pakistan sign the Indus Water Treaty to divide usage of the six rivers in the Indus basin. India takes control of the three eastern rivers that contribute 20% of the flow of the basin. Pakistan takes control of the western ones, securing its water supply. This treaty stands the test of time despite India and Pakistan engaging in many military conflicts.

  28. 1962

    China routs India in a brief war, humiliating Jawaharlal Nehru and Krishna Menon, his arrogant and incompetent defense minister. Menon falls on his sword and resigns. Nehru stays on. China establishes complete control of Aksai Chin.

  29. 1963

    Pakistan and China sign a border agreement, swapping land in the Shaksgam Valley with each other. It is the first agreement China signs with a non-communist country. As an American ally, Pakistan is taking a bold step with this agreement. By swapping land, it wins Chinese recognition that India does not have sole right to the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

  30. August September 1965

    Pakistan takes advantage of discontent in Kashmir and sends armed infiltrators over the border. India retaliates by invading Punjab. A full-scale war breaks out. During the ensuing peace negotiations in Tashkent, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri dies mysteriously.

  31. December 1971

    India and Pakistan fight yet another war. India defeats Pakistan decisively, liberating East Pakistan where Islamabad has been following a brutal policy of violence, repression and rape. Bangladesh is born as a new country, denting the notion of Pakistan as a nation for South Asia's Muslims.

  32. July 1972

    India and Pakistan sign the Shimla Agreement. They agree that the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue with no room for third party intervention, including the United Nations.

  33. February 1975

    Sheikh Abdullah returns from the wilderness to sign an accord with Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter and Lal Bahadur Shastri's successor. After two decades in the wilderness of which many are spent in prison, he becomes chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

  34. September 1982

    Sheikh Abdullah dies. In South Asian tradition, his son Farooq Abdullah becomes the new leader of the party and the chief minister of the state.

  35. April 1984

    Indian troops take control of Siachen Glacier and the heights of Saltoro Ridge, pre-empting Pakistani troops by just one day. India wins 3,000 square kilometers of territory. Troops of both countries stand eyeball to eyeball to this day, making this the world's highest battlefield. The harsh conditions of the glacier where temperatures fall as low as -50°C are far more deadly than the fighting between Indian and Pakistani troops.

  36. 1987

    Farooq Abdullah wins elections to become chief minister again. Many maintain that Rajiv Gandhi, the son of Indira Gandhi, rigged the elections. Sir Mark Tully, a legendary BBC journalist, calls it "a hopelessly clumsy, cack-handed operation." The people of Kashmir lose faith in the ballot box.

  37. 1989

    Islamic militant groups start a full-blown insurgency in Kashmir. The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leads this effort. Their goals include establishing Sharia law, Islamizing Kashmiri society and merging with Pakistan. The ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus begins. Almost 600,000 people are forced out of the region. India begins large-scale military deployments across Kashmir.

  38. 1998

    After nearly a decade of anti-insurgency operations, the Indian Army broadens its focus to infrastructure development and schemes for public welfare.

  39. May July 1999

    Pakistani troops led by General Pervez Musharraf occupy Indian positions vacated in winter across the LoC. This incursion occurs in the strategically important Kargil area, located on the highway connecting Leh and Srinagar. The Indian Army fights intense high altitude warfare to recover lost ground. The risk of nuclear war recedes when the US gets Pakistan and India to agree to localizing the conflict. Pakistan eventually retreats.

  40. 2001

    Spectacular attacks in the US are followed by an attack on the Indian parliament by members of two Pakistan-based organizations. India deployed its troops on the border, bringing the two countries close to war.

  41. 2008

    Omar Abdullah, the son of Farooq Abdullah, wins the elections, becoming the youngest chief minister of the state. The 38-year-old scion has little legitimacy because the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the main Kashmiri separatist group, has called on the people to boycott elections. Separatist protests break out and security forces struggle to control them.

  42. 2010

    Mass protests break out again. Initially, protesters demand independence from India after security forces kill three young men. Then, crowds denounce the US because they are outraged by the plans of a Florida pastor to burn the Quran. From now on, many protests take a pan-Islamist flavor.

  43. 2014

    Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the former home minister, wins the December elections and becomes chief minister in 2015. When he dies a year later, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti succeeds him as leader in yet another dynastic Kashmiri succession. The Sayeeds take the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party to win power.

  44. 2016

    Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a poster boy of the Kashmiri insurgency, is killed by Indian security forces. It triggers the worst violence in the state since 2010. A curfew is extended to 53 consecutive days and the lockdown continues for eight months.

  45. 2018

    Mehbooba Mufti's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party collapses. New Delhi imposes direct rule on Jammu and Kashmir. Mufti shifts her support to Islamist groups despite the fact that one such outfit had kidnapped her sister Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989.

  46. February 2019

    A suicide attack in Pulwama kills 40 Indian paramilitary troops. Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claims responsibility. India responds with airstrikes on Balakot, deep inside Pakistani territory. Pakistani fighter jets enter Indian airspace to retaliate. Pakistan captures an Indian pilot after shooting down his plane, but releases him shortly afterward.

  47. August 2019

    After Narendra Modi wins a second term with a thumping parliamentary majority, India revokes Article 370. Jammu and Kashmir loses its special status. The state is divided into two union territories directly administered by New Delhi: Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan and many international news outlets cry foul. A majority in India celebrates as the Bharatiya Janata Party achieves the dream of its founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee, who died opposing Article 370 in 1953.

  48. November 2020

    Elections to the District Developmental Council are held in Jammu and Kashmir. In this new union territory, 51.5% of eligible voters turn up to cast their votes.

  49. May 2023

    India hosts the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar. Despite mixed reception from Western media, this demonstrates improved safety, peace and economic development in the region. Delegates of China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt boycott this meeting even as economic and political turmoil afflicts in Pakistan-controlled Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

  50. Credits Researched by Ayan Rakshit , Ansh Joshi and Deepak Dhariwal,
    Supervised by Atul Singh and Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Produced by Lokendra Singh
    Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Creative Commons