The origins of Indo-Pakistani antagonism The root causes of the hostility between India and Pakistan can be ascribed to four major structural factors (Ganguly 1986): first, a lack of institutional structures resulting from the British ‘Cut and Run’ policy in 1947; second, the states’ conflicting ideologies – Pakistan defines itself through its Muslim identity and India defines itself as a secular state; third, the clash between strong irredentist pressures in Pakistan and anti-irredentism in India towards the territory of Kashmir; and fourth, the geostrategic importance of the disputed territory in Kashmir. While the first factor was dominant immediately after independence, the second and third factors played a crucial role during the period from the mid1950s to mid-1971. After the Bangladesh War of 1971 and the subsequent disintegration of Pakistan, structural factors lost much of their relevance, and ethnicity came to the fore as a determining factor.1