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As its last act in India, the British colonial government, on the eve of its departure, signed into law the partition of India. At midnight on August 14, 1947, British rule officially ended in India. To commemorate the occasion, Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, broadcast a message of hope and rebirth to the new Indian nation. Both Pakistan and India could be read as artificial creations, as their boundaries had to be determined to build the Pakistani nation. The new nation incorporated the majority-Muslim areas of East Bengal, the western Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan. East Pakistan and West Pakistan were separated by a thousand miles of Indian territory. Sandwiched between India and Pakistan was and continues to be Kashmir, a land that, ...

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