Two months after the 1998 elections, the new BJP-led government followed through on its controversial pledge to make India into a nuclear power. In its first atomic tests since 1974, India detonated five nuclear devices underground. Pakistan responded with its own nuclear tests, arousing fears of a regional nuclear arms race. A number of foreign governments declared sanctions against both countries to express disapproval of the tests, and the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1172, which prohibited export technologies to India and Pakistan that could assist them in making nuclear weapons.
Tensions eased somewhat in the months following the nuclear tests, as India and Pakistan both declared moratoriums on further testing and entered into negotiations sponsored by the United States. Some economic sanctions were lifted at these signs of progress. In early 1999, after months of talks, the leaders of India and Pakistan signed the Lahore Declaration, which expressed the two countries’ commitment to improve relations between them. However, fears of an arms race revived in April, when first India and then Pakistan tested medium-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Relations between India and Pakistan were further strained by their longstanding territorial dispute over the region of Jammu and Kashm?r. A Muslim separatist insurgency that emerged in the region in 1989 had become increasingly militant and violent, leading to periodic escalations of violence.
In May 1999 Pakistan army forces seized Indian-controlled territory in the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmîr. Fighting between Indian and Pakistani forces raged until July, when, in an agreement brokered by the United States, Pakistan withdrew its remaining forces. However, the territorial dispute continued to be a major obstacle to the normalization of relations between the two countries. "India" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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