It follows Imran Khan’s decision to sever ties with New Delhi following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s revocation of Article 370. Mr Modi’s move sparked unrest in Kashmir after the disputed region’s status was changed to allow more Indian influence. Mr Khan has since taken the matter to the United Nations – but if diplomacy fails to prevail, there are fears of war between the two South Asian rivals.
There have been four wars between India and Pakistan since the partition of British India in 1947.
A fifth may be the most devastating yet, with both militaries posing a significant threat not only regionally, but on a global scale.
Analysis by Express.co.uk of military data suggests that though India triumphs in size and investment, Islamabad’s arsenal and personnel could still be a significant deterrent.
Both nations have nuclear weapons, with India believed to possess 130-140 warheads compared to Pakistan’s 140-150.
Would the two really risk a war?
The data shows both sides mighty arsenals
India possesses 2,082 military aircraft, compared to Pakistan’s 1,342, meaning New Delhi can boast the fourth-strongest air force in the world.
However, Pakistan has more than treble the number of attack helicopters at 55, compared to India’s 17.
India also dominates the naval front, with 295 assets compared to Pakistan’s 197.
It is the ground troops where New Delhi holds its biggest advantage, though.
The Indian army could clash with Pakistan
Only dwarfed by China, India boasts an active military of 1,362,500 troops – more the likes of the US and Russia.
It is also more than double their neighbours.
There is also the question of allies potentially getting involved in a conflict between the two.
While most appear to be seeking the diplomatic route, the decisions of major powers such as the US and China could have a significant impact.
China has a stake in Kashmir after growing closer to Pakistan in recent years while simultaneously getting involved in border scuffles with India.
Protests have erupted
Kashmiris want their special status back
Beijing administers Aksai Chin, a northwestern Kashmiri region – considered by New Delhi as Indian land.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said yesterday: “China is always opposed to India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction.”
Meanwhile, it is unclear which side US President Donald Trump will take, having shared grievances and an affinity for both leaders.
Mr Khan met Trump last month and, to New Delhi’s fury, asked the President to mediate in the Kashmir crisis.
43,000 Indian troops were deployed
It caused further tensions between India and the US, who have come to blows over India’s desire to purchase Russian S-400 missiles.
India’s first war with Pakistan in 1947 – also called the ‘First Kashmir War’ – started when Islamabad feared that the Maharaja of Kashmir and Jammu would accede to India.
The war led to Kashmir being split between the two nations, and, following the ceasefire, Article 370 was signed in the Indian constitution.
It forbade Indians from outside Kashmir from having a permanent stake by buying land.
The 1971 war
The next clash came in 1965 following Pakistan’s attempt to launch an insurgency inside Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir.
It led to the largest tank battle since World War 2 – but the wars weren’t over.
Six years later, India and East Pakistan worked together to create the independent state of Bangladesh.
An attack in Kashmir in February
Kashmir was at the centre again in 1999 after Pakistani troops occupied Indian territory before suffering thousands of fatalities.
Analyst Jonah Blank suggested that India’s actions, which sparked the latest Kashmiri crisis, puts regional democracy at risk.
He wrote: “In the short term, this move will certainly destabilise a region that experienced a bloody insurgency throughout the Nineties, and has only fitfully been returning to normal life since.
“Yet the impact of this decision by Modi’s government is more likely to come not as a sudden blast of radiation, but a slow transmogrification of democracy—in India, in South Asia, and quite possibly much farther.”