The trouble with Kashmir

In 1947, India won independence from Britain, and Pakistan was created in the partition of British India. The partition was a bloody one — at least half a million were killed, and millions more were displaced.

400 MILES

CHINA

AFGHAN.

Islamabad

BHUTAN

PAKISTAN

Thimphu

W. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

NEPAL

New

Delhi

Kathmandu

Dhaka

INDIA

BANGLADESH

E. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

Extent of

British India

Bay of

Bengal

1858 to 1947

SRI LANKA

Indian Ocean

Colombo

400 MILES

AFGHAN.

CHINA

Islamabad

BHUTAN

PAKISTAN

Thimphu

W. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

NEPAL

New

Delhi

Kathmandu

Dhaka

INDIA

Arabian

Sea

BANGLADESH

E. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

Extent of

British India

Bay of

Bengal

1858 to 1947

SRI LANKA

Indian Ocean

Colombo

400 MILES

AFGHAN.

CHINA

Islamabad

BHUTAN

PAKISTAN

Thimphu

W. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

NEPAL

New

Delhi

Kathmandu

Dhaka

INDIA

MYANMAR

Arabian

Sea

BANGLADESH

E. PAKISTAN

1947-1971

Bay of

Bengal

Extent of British India

1858 to 1947

Indian Ocean

SRI LANKA

Colombo

Since that year, the issue of the sovereignty of Kashmir has remained unresolved. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir, but each controls only a part. The two portions are divided mostly by the Line of Control, a heavily militarized unofficial border. India controls the largest portion, known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir, while Pakistan controls what it calls Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. (China, meanwhile, controls Aksai Chin in the east.)

TAJIKISTAN

100 MILES

Boundary claimed

by India

AFGHAN.

CHINA

Boundary

claimed

by India

Held by China,

claimed by India

Line of control

Balakot

Srinagar

Boundary

claimed

by Pakistan

Islamabad

Pulwama

Claimed

by China

PAKISTAN

INDIA

CHINA

Lahore

TAJIKISTAN

CHINA

AFGHAN.

Boundary claimed

by India

100 MILES

Gilgit

Boundary

claimed

by India

AKSAI CHIN

Held by China,

claimed by India

Line of control

Balakot

Srinagar

Boundary

claimed

by Pakistan

Islamabad

Pulwama

CHINA

Jammu

PAKISTAN

DEMCHOK

INDIA

Held by India,

claimed by China

Lahore

TAJIKISTAN

CHINA

AFGHAN.

Boundary claimed

by India

100 MILES

Gilgit

Boundary

claimed

by India

AKSAI CHIN

Held by China,

claimed by India

Line of control

Balakot

Srinagar

Boundary

claimed

by Pakistan

Islamabad

Pulwama

CHINA

Jammu

PAKISTAN

DEMCHOK

Held by India,

claimed by China

INDIA

Lahore

TAJIK.

50 MILES

CHINA

AFGHAN.

Boundary claimed

by India

Gilgit

Boundary

claimed by

India

Siachen

Glacier

AKSAI CHIN

Held by China,

claimed by India

Feb. 26: India

conducts airstrikes

in Balakot

Line of control

Abbottabad

Srinagar

Feb. 14: Suicide bombing

kills 40 in Pulwama

Islamabad

Boundary

claimed by

India

DEMCHOK

Held by India,

claimed

by China

Jammu

Boundary claimed

by Pakistan

PAKISTAN

INDIA

CHINA

Lahore

TAJIK.

CHINA

AFGHAN.

Boundary claimed

by India

GILGIT-

BALTISTAN

Gilgit

Boundary

claimed by

India

Siachen

Glacier

AKSAI CHIN

Held by China,

claimed by India

Feb. 26:

India conducts

airstrikes in

Balakot

Line of control

Abbottabad

Peshawar

Srinagar

Feb. 14: Suicide bombing

kills 40 in Pulwama

Boundary

claimed by

India

Islamabad

Rawalpindi

AZAD

KASHMIR

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

50 MILES

Jammu

DEMCHOK

Boundary claimed

by Pakistan

Held by India,

claimed by China

PAKISTAN

CHINA

INDIA

Lahore

K

h

o

r

u

g

h

TAJIK.

F

e

y

z

a

b

a

d

CHINA

H

o

t

a

n

AFGHAN.

Boundary claimed

by India

GILGIT-

BALTISTAN

Gilgit

G

i

l

g

i

t

Boundary

claimed by

India

Siachen

Glacier

AKSAI CHIN

Held by China,

claimed by India

A

s

a

d

a

b

a

d

Feb. 26:

India conducts

airstrikes in

Balakot

Line of control

S

a

i

d

u

b

a

d

M

a

n

s

e

h

r

a

S

o

p

o

r

e

M

a

r

d

a

n

A

b

b

o

t

t

a

b

a

d

B

a

r

a

m

u

l

a

Abbottabad

Srinagar

P

e

s

h

a

w

a

r

Peshawar

S

r

i

n

a

g

a

r

Feb. 14: Suicide bombing

kills 40 in Pulwama

Boundary

claimed by

India

Islamabad

K

o

h

a

t

I

s

l

a

m

a

b

a

d

Rawalpindi

AZAD

KASHMIR

R

a

w

a

l

p

i

n

d

i

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

n

u

50 MILES

Jammu

DEMCHOK

J

a

m

m

u

G

u

j

r

a

t

K

u

n

d

i

a

n

Boundary claimed

by Pakistan

S

i

a

l

k

o

t

e

Held by India,

claimed by China

P

a

t

h

a

n

k

o

t

S

a

r

g

o

d

h

a

G

a

r

G

u

j

r

a

n

w

a

l

a

D

e

r

a

I

s

m

a

i

l

K

h

a

n

PAKISTAN

CHINA

INDIA

C

h

i

n

i

o

t

S

h

e

i

k

h

u

P

u

r

a

A

m

r

i

t

s

a

r

Lahore

A

m

r

i

t

s

a

r

H

o

s

h

i

a

r

p

u

r

L

a

h

o

r

e

F

a

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s

a

l

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b

a

d

J

h

a

n

g

Pulwama is a district in Jammu and Kashmir and the location of the Feb. 14 bombing claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad that left 40 dead.

The airstrike carried out Tuesday by Indian fighter jets was the first time India had sent aircraft across the Line of Control since 1971. Pakistan said that its retaliatory strikes were carried out from its side of the line.

Pakistani reporters and troops visit the site of an Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Pakistan, on Tuesday. (Aqeel Ahmed/AP)

Indian soldiers patrol the India-Pakistan international border near Jammu, India, on May 28, 2015. (Channi Anand/AP)

Balakot, where the Indian side said it carried out its airstrikes, is in a northwest province of Pakistan. India said it was a preemptive strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp.

Emily Tamkin

Emily Tamkin reports and writes on foreign affairs for the WorldViews team.

Laris Karklis

Laris Karklis has been working at the Washington Post since 2000.

Tim Meko

Tim Meko designs and develops maps, data visualizations and explanatory graphics. Before coming to The Post, he led the visuals team at the Urban Institute and was an infographics artist at the Columbus Dispatch.

Brittany Renee Mayes contributed to this report.

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