International: Kashmir: Kashmir
About 95% of the poppulation in Kashmir are Moselms. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, have fought two wars over the state and, twice in the past four years, have come close to a third. Fifty-six years ago, when the British left the subcontinent, the newly independent nations of Pakistan and India fought for Kashmir - Pakistanis felt Kashmir's Muslim majority meant it should be part of their Islamic state. But the war left two-thirds of Kashmir, including the heartland known as 'the Valley', ruled by India which maintains Kashmir is an integral part of its secular country. The result was a tug-of-war that has lasted five decades. In the late 1980s, following an election rigged by India, the Kashmiris revolted. Their demands were disparate, with factions battling for independence, for Islamicisation, for union with Pakistan. Indian repression and covert aid from Islamabad led to violence. Official figures say that since 1989 an estimated 45,000 people have died, unofficial figures put it at around 90,000. This year around 700 civilians, 500 Indian security men and at least 1,000 militants have died and thousands more have been wounded and maimed.