For over six decades, Pakistan and India have remained engaged in an intractable deadlock over the territory of Kashmir. In 1947, India and Pakistan separated and gained independence, without conclusively resolving this territorial dispute. Kashmir was one of many princely states given the choice to join either Pakistan or India. The leader of Kashmir at that time did not accept either and the state remained unattached when formal territorial lines were initially drawn. Eventually an agreement was made with India, which was followed by the first war between India and Pakistan soon thereafter. The dispute was referred to the United Nations and in early 1948 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 39, which requested that Pakistan and then India withdraw its forces, which would trigger a plebiscite. It also established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to assist in providing a solution for both states in these matters.


The Karachi Agreement was signed in 1949 and it established a ceasefire line to be observed by military personnel. This led to the creation of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). Subsequent resolutions of the UNSC terminated UNCIP and extended the supervisory role of the UNMOGIP over the ceasefire in Kashmir, demilitarizing the area in the hopes that it would lead to a more permanent solution. Enhanced terms upon which a plebiscite would be held were also included in these resolutions.


In 1957, Kashmir was adopted by India into its territory through Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Some years later, armed aggression disrupted the ceasefire once more, but the 1966 Tashkent Declaration reinstituted the ceasefire. After the 1971 war between Pakistan and India, the Simla Agreement was signed, defining the Line of Control in Kashmir. As it stands, Pakistan and India have participated in at least three wars over the territory of Kashmir, including the Kargil war in 1999. There were also several skirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier. From approximately 2010, India claims control over the majority Jammu and Kashmir, claims contested fervently by Pakistan. Azad Kashmir and northern Gilgit Baltistan are controlled by Pakistan.