Pakistan vs India: When did India separate from Pakistan – and why?
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Pakistan and India splitting is often referred to as the Partition of India, and saw the establishment of Pakistan as its own state with its own laws and Government. The partition of India was, in part, brought on by the British Empire, who colonised the country for almost 100 years, establishing what is known as the British Raj. The British presence in India was not appreciated by many people, and the fight to gain independence began soon after the empire’s arrival.
When did India separate from Pakistan?
India and Pakistan announced their official separation on August 14, 1947, while the move was confirmed three days later on August 17.
August 14 is now celebrated every year as the Independence Day of Pakistan, marking the establishment of the nation as an independent.
The split was orchestrated by Lord Mountbatten, who established the Mountbatten Plan, also known as the Indian Independence Act 1947.
India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15, 1947, but Indians celebrate the day British rule ended in India, as opposed to the Partition.
Why did India separate from Pakistan?
The Partition was a big part of the end of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, as many people in India felt as though they wanted to govern themselves.
They were unhappy about things like economic problems, which stemmed as a result of restrictions placed on them by colonisers.
There was also deep religious conflict and a growing tension between Hindus and Muslims, which played a big role in the Partition.
The decision to split was brought on by a two-nation theory, presented by Pakistani Nationalist politician Choudhary Rehmat Ali.
In March 1947, a new viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, arrived in Delhi with a mandate to find a speedy way of bringing the British Raj to an end.
On June 3, he announced independence would be fast tracked to August of the same year.
Lord Mountbatten presented politicians with an ultimatum that gave them little alternative but to agree the creation of two separate states.
Pakistan was divided into East and West districts, separated by an estimated 1,000 miles of Indian territory.
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The new borders, which split the key majority-Muslim provinces of the Punjab and Bengal in two, were officially approved on August 17.
Partition was, however, not the glowing success everyone expected it to be.
The move triggered riots, mass casualties and one of the biggest waves of migration in human history as millions moved into what they hoped would be safer territory.
Muslims headed towards Pakistan, while Hindus and Sikhs went in the direction of mainland India.
As many as 16million people are believed to have eventually been displaced, travelling on foot, by train or in carts.
The estimated death toll post migration ranges from 200,000 to two million.
Many migrants were killed by members of other communities, sometimes their own family, as well as by contagious diseases picked up in refugee camps.
West and East Pakistan eventually split in 1971 in the Bangladesh Liberation War, which led to the creation of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh.
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