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Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a state/Union Territory of India.

Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. The Government of India claims the entire state in its original form to be a part of India including the northern area occupied by Pakistan which it calls Pakistan occupied Kashmir or PoK. It consists of three main areas: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley (Kashmir), and Ladakh. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the Pakistan-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, to the west and northwest respectively.

Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.

Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state with a Muslim majority ruled by a Sikh Maharaja (king) until 1947. When Maharaja Hari Singh refused to accede to either India or Pakistan, choosing to stay independent, Pathan tribesmen encouraged by the Pakistani government invaded. The Maharaja quickly acceded to India, which repulsed the invasion with its troops. Since then, India and Pakistan have disputed control over Jammu and Kashmir, with both countries claiming the entire state. The de facto situation is that Pakistan controls just under half, the People's Republic of China a small portion, and India just over half the state. India and Pakistan have been to war three times in Kashmir (1947 - 1948, 1965, 1971) and clashed there again during the Kargil Conflict of (1999). Islamic militants have started a process of ethnic cleansing, thus forcing a large amount of minorities and original inhabitants to leave the Kashmir valley. Terrorist camps, promoting Jihad, employ mercenaries and are present on the other side of the border, in the forests of Pakistan.

Tension appeared again between the two countries in 2001 - 2002, prompted by what India considers to be Pakistani moves to support the separatist movement in Indian-controlled Kashmir.