The 2001 Summit

After Pakistan's 1999 military coup, the new military leader consolidated his power, restoring a degree of internal stability and demonstrating his capability. Pakistan and India agreed to a three-day summit held in July 2001, their first formal talks since the Kargil crisis. The summit did not result in any formal agreement.


Immediately after Pakistan's 1999 coup, fighting between India and Pakistan intensified. Pakistani and Indian media called the fighting some of the worst ever and speculated about war.

However, as Pakistan's internal situation improved, the character of the conflict also improved. Within Pakistan, the former Prime Minister was sentenced to life in prison, a sentence later commuted to life in exile. The new "Chief Executive," General Musharraf, cleaned house, checking corruption and abuse of power. With internal stability regained, he could then put credible pressure on India as well as the largely self-directed and often uncoordinated Kashmiri militant groups.

India announced a cease-fire with Kashmiri militant groups in November 2000. In December, Pakistan announced the withdrawal of some troops from the Line of Control. Although occasionally violated, the cease-fire largely held for six months, and Kashmir saw the lowest level of fighting in a decade.

Kashmir Summit

In May 2001, India and Pakistan formally agreed to talks about Kashmir for the first time since the Kargil crisis. India also announced the end of the cease-fire. Fighting did not escalate to earlier proportions, but Indian attacks were stepped up, killing at least 28 in one military action in June.

Also in June, Pakistan's leader Musharraf assumed the title of President, giving himself more clout in a demonstration of consolidated internal support.

In July, India promised to ease travel restrictions between Indian-held and Pakistan-held Kashmir, and set up new border offices.

The summit was held in New Delhi, India, from July 14 to July 17, 2001. The leaders were unable to reach any formal agreement. Nearly 50 people were killed in ground fighting in Kashmir while the summit was being held. Also during the time of the summit, Indian and Pakistani border forces exchanged gunfire for the first time in 2001.

Further Developments

Much has happened since May 2001 -- perhaps the greatest possible understatement! I have not had time to update this Web site with all the developments, including the Sept. 11 attacks' dramatic effects on Pakistan, the suicide bombing of the Indian parliament which led once more to the verge of nuclear war, two assassination attempts on Musharraf's life in 2003, and a historic ceasefire agreement later in 2003. Most recently, in July 2008, cross-border shooting killed some troops, in the most significant violation of that ceasefire.

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