Post-Coup: Nuclear Hardball

After Pakistan's 1999 military coup, the strategic situation in Kashmir changed dramatically. The new military leader consolidated his power, and began positioning Pakistan militarily and diplomatically for confrontation with India.

After the Coup: Consolidating Power

Immediately after the October 12, 1999 coup, the first step of Pakistan's new military government was to consolidate its power. Initially, Western governments' reaction was to condemn the coup and demand a return to democracy. After Pakistan publicly demanded that the Kashmir issue be resolved, Western powers extended more than $4 billion in new or rescheduled loans to Pakistan, and Great Britain officially stated that the Pakistani military had a case for overthrowing the civilian government, while the rest of the world dropped the subject.

Late 1999: Positioning

The Y2K Surprise: Holding the World Hostage

By late December, Pakistan's new military government had consolidated its hold on Pakistan, and publicly announced increased support for Kashmiri rebels. Shortly thereafter, Kashmiri rebels hijacked an Indian Airlines plane. India accused Pakistan of being behind it, and asked that Pakistan be declared a terrorist nation. Tensions between the two nations soared, and cross-border attacks increased.


After a bitter "war of words" between Indian and Pakistani leaders in the press, and even more bitter cross-border fighting, India and Pakistan began positioning military resources.

On to Part VII: 2001 Kashmir Summit