Ami Vitale, USA, Getty Images
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The dispute between India and Pakistan over claims to
the mountainous northern region of Kashmir has continued
for more than 50 years, and has at least twice led to
war between the two nuclear powers. The area is controlled
by India, but has a 60 per cent Muslim majority. Since
1989, in addition to the demands of Delhi and Islamabad,
several other separatist groups have pursued rival claims
to the territory, and Muslim insurgency has been on the
increase. Cross-border firing and separatist militancy
have left a death toll running into tens of thousands.
Towards the end of 2004, India and Pakistan appeared to
reach some rapprochement over Pakistan, and tensions eased.