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When the British relinquished their control over India the 565 independent princely states were given the option to join either of the two nations-ie India or Pakistan A few princely states among them were the Mirs of Hunza Nagar and Kalat readily joined Pakistan but the rest except Hyderabad the largest of the princely states with 132000 square kilometers and a population of more than 14 million Jammu and Kashmir with 3 million inhabitants and Junagadh with a population of 545000--merged with IndiaThe Hindu maharajah of predominantly Muslim Jammu and Kashmir remained uncommitted until armed tribesmen and regular troops from Pakistan infiltrated his domain inducing him to sign the Instrument of Accession to India on October 27 1947 Pakistan refused to accept the legality of the accession and as a result war broke out Thus the first Indo-Pakistani conflict started 1947-48 The military was called upon to defend the borders of the state of Jammu and Kashmir when tribals--principally Pathans--attacked from the northwest reaches of Kashmir on October 22 1947 Indias 161st Infantry Brigade was deployed and thwarted the advance of the tribal forces In early November 1947 the 161st counterattacked and successfully broke through the enemy defenses Despite early successes the Indian army suffered a setback in December because of logistical problems The problems enabled the forces of Azad Kashmir Free Kashmir as the part of Kashmir under Pakistani control is called to take the initiative and force the Indian troops to retreat from the border areas In the spring of 1948 the Indian side mounted another offensive to retake some of the ground that it had lost No doubt fearing that the war might move into Pakistan proper regular units of the Pakistani army became more actively involved As the conflict escalated the Indian leadership was quick to recognize that the war could not be brought to a close unless Pakistani support for the Azad Kashmir forces could be stopped Accordingly on the
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