Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of modern states of India and Pakistan, the two South Asian countries have been involved in four wars, including one undeclared war, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs. Most of these wars and conflicts, despite being initiated by Pakistan, have ended up with defeat or disaster for Pakistan.
The Kashmir issue has been the main cause of all major conflicts between the two countries with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 where conflict originated due to turmoil in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
The Partition of British India came about in the aftermath of World War II, when both Great Britain and British India were dealing with the economic stresses caused by the war and its demobilisation. It was the intention of those who wished for a Muslim state to come from British India to have a clean partition between independent and equal "Pakistan" and "Hindustan" once independence came.[not in citation given]
The partition itself, according to leading politicians such as Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the All India Muslim League, and Jawaharlal Nehru, leader of the Indian National Congress, should have resulted in peaceful relations. As the Hindu and Muslim populations were scattered unevenly in the whole country, the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 was not possible along religious lines. Nearly one third of the Muslim population of British India remained in India.[not in citation given] Inter-communal violence between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims resulted in between 500,000 and 1 million casualties.:6
Princely-ruled territories, such as Kashmir and Hyderabad, were also involved in the Partition. Rulers of these territories had the choice of joining India or Pakistan.