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Timeline: Conflict over Kashmir

As two nations united by history but divided by destiny, India and Pakistan are almost like two estranged siblings.

Their rivalries over five decades have prevented both countries from realizing their full economic and geopolitical potential.

The two countries have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir.

The region is small, but nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas its strategic importance and beauty make it a prized possession.

From 1947 to 2001

August 15, 1947 - India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain.

October 27, 1947 - Kashmir becomes part of India.

January 1948 - India and Pakistan go to war over Kashmir and finally agree to withdraw all troops behind a mutually agreed ceasefire line, later known as the Line of Control.

August 5, 1965 - India and Pakistan at war again over Kashmir. The war ends when both countries decide to adopt a UN-sponsored resolution to stick to the Line of Control.

May 7, 1999 - The Indian Army patrols detect intruders on Kargil ridges in Kashmir. India fights to regain lost territory.

March 19, 2000 - Then U.S. President Bill Clinton arrives in India, beginning his six-day visit to South Asia, partly in an attempt to ease relations between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.

July 25, 2000 - Hizbul Mujahedeen, a pro-Pakistan Kashmiri militant group, declares a unilateral ceasefire for three months in Jammu and Kashmir.

August 3, 2000 - India begins peace talks with Hizbul Mujahedeen, in Srinagar.

August 8, 2000 - Hizbul Mujahedeen calls off its 2-week-old ceasefire and orders its forces to resume fighting against Indian troops.

November 19, 2000 - Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announces that security forces will suspend combat operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir state during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

27 November 2000 - India puts a ceasefire into effect in Kashmir.

December 23, 2000 - Pakistan-based guerrilla group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, claims responsibility for a deadly attack on New Delhi's historic Red Fort.

February 22, 2000 - Prime Minister Vajpayee extends the unilateral ceasefire by three months.

April 27, 2001 - An executive from Kashmir's separatist All Parties Huriyat Conference (APHC), which claims to be the premier political representative of the Kashmiri people, rejects an Indian offer for a dialogue.

May 23, 2001 - India ends a six-month military ceasefire against Islamic guerillas in Kashmir while also inviting Pakistani military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, to peace talks aimed at ending five decades of hostilities between the two countries.

May 28, 2001 - India's peace negotiator for Kashmir, Krishan Chander Pant, visits the disputed territory to meet a cross-section of people from Pakistan and Kashmir. India refuses to yield any ground in talks and insists that the territory is an integral part of India and rejects Pakistan's calls for a referendum on the future of Kashmir.

May 28, 2001 - Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, formally accepts an Indian invitation for summit talks focused firmly on the Kashmir dispute.

June 18, 2001- Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, announces a visit to India from July 14 to 16 for the first summit talks between the neighboring states in two years.

June 20, 2001 - Musharraf dismisses President Rafiq Tarar as the nation's ceremonial head of state, dissolves the national and provisional assemblies and declares himself as new Pakistani president.

July 4, 2001 - India says it is releasing more than 400 Pakistani prisoners from its jails as a goodwill gesture 10 days ahead of the India-Pakistan summit meeting in New Delhi.

July 4, 2001 - President Musharraf issues an executive order, giving the president boundless powers through a newly devised National Security Council.

July 14-16, 2001 - President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee meet in Agra, India for a three-day summit. The talks fail to produce a joint statement on Kashmir.

July 24, 2001 - Abdul Hamid Tantray, chief spokesman of the Hizbul Mujahadeen, one of Kashmir's largest militant groups, dies in what Indian authorities call an "encounter" with police in the village of Paloo.

August 7, 2001 - Ten people are shot dead and more than 20 were injured when three men dressed as army soldiers enter a railway station in the Indian city of Jammu.

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