India and Pakistan have been locked in a struggle over Kashmir for more than 70 years, and the restive region is back in the news again this week.
So why does the mountainous region mean so much to the two countries?
Kashmir initially remained independent and was free to accede to either nation. When the Hindu king of Kashmir chose to join India in exchange for military protection, Jammu and Kashmir state became the only Muslim-majority state in the country.
Jammu and Kashmir covers around 45% of Kashmir, in the south and east of the region, while Pakistan controls Azad Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan -- which cover around 35% of the total territory in the north and west. Both countries claim complete ownership of Kashmir; also in the picture is China, which controls around 20% of Kashmir territory known as Aksai Chin.
The issue is also one of the oldest items on the agenda at the United Nations, where India and Pakistan took their dispute soon after independence.
Both countries agreed to a plebiscite in principle, to allow Kashmiris to decide their own future, but it has never been held because it was predicated on the withdrawal of all military forces from the region, which has not happened even decades on.
Indian authorities wanted to show that they could guarantee the rights of Muslims in a secular state, but Kashmir is also key to Pakistani identity as a homeland for Muslims after partition in 1947, said Simona Vittorini, a specialist in South Asian politics at SOAS University of London.
Read more on that here.