The ‘Know Your Region’ series is designed to support unit and individual professional military education on the Indo-Pacific region.


India is a large and complex country with competition on each of its borders. Its security is maintained with a large and active military. Its economy hasn’t yet reached its full potential and recent government initiatives, such as demonetisation, have had mixed impacts on the economy and the population. 

Mumbai Attacks

In November 2008, ten Pakistani men from the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorist group travelled from Karachi to Mumbai in a boat they hijacked, killing the five crew. On 26 November 2008, they arrived at the Mumbai waterfront and split into multiple groups before hijacking cars to begin their attacks. They first killed 68 people at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station after firing into crowds. They then moved to the Café Leopold where a further 10 people were killed. They also killed six police officers outside the Cama and Albless Hospital.

The groups undertook sieges at three locations: Nariman House (a Jewish community centre), Oberoi-Trident Hotel, and Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. The sieges lasted 3 days with 7 people killed in Nariman House, 30 in Oberoi-Trident Hotel, and 31 in the Taj. 

Nine of the ten terrorists died during the attacks with the lone survivor later being executed for his crimes. A number of connections to the attacks were arrested and charged in multiple different countries. The most significant arrest was Hafiz Mohammed Saeed who was the leader of a group associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. He was placed under house arrest but was later released by the Lahore High Court in Pakistan. Saeed was later arrested and imprisoned for five and a half years for unrelated terror financing charges. 

For further information on the Mumbai Attacks, see the resources below:


  1. Mumbai Terror Attacks Fast Facts | CNN
  2. Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008 | Events, Death Toll, & Facts | Britannica
  3. The Ordinary Heroes of the Taj (
  4. Mumbai terror attacks | World | The Guardian


On the 8th of November 2016 the Indian Government announced that it was going to demonetize the Indian economy in an effort to reduce the amount of untaxed money flowing through the economy. The plan would destroy counterfeit currency, seize undeclared income, and increase the tax base. The Government declared at short notice that all large denomination banknotes (500 and 1000 Indian Rupees) would become worthless and granted a limited time period to declare and exchange those notes. The move pushed many payments and transactions to be transacted via digital means. The decision received public backlash with much of the population frequently using cash to pay for goods and services which often avoided tax on such products. The Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of the decision after it was challenged in court. Many of the promised benefits of demonetisation were not realised, including cash in the economy increasing rather than decreasing. The decision is still seen by much of the population as Government abandonment of the people of India, due to the losses sustained by many and the ongoing economic issues such as job losses, cash shortages, and increased taxing.

For further information on the Indian demonetisation, see the resources below:


  1. The Great Indian Demonetization – American Economic Association (
  2. Demonetisation: The Decision That Changed The Face of India’s Economy (
  3. Six years after demonetisation: A look at what happened and changed | India News - The Indian Express
  4. Cash and the Economy: Evidence from India’s Demonetization
  5. Studying the Economic Impact of the Demonetization Across Indian Districts

India and Pakistan Relations 

The India-Pakistan border is one of the most militarised borders in the world. In 1947 the UK withdrew from the Indian subcontinent and left behind a largely Hindu India and a largely Muslim Pakistan. In 1948 the first war was fought between the two countries over Kashmir, a disputed territory on their border. Armed tribesman from Pakistan invaded Kashmir and the regional ruler – the Maharaja – sought India’s assistance in exchange for acceding to India. The war officially ended at the start of 1949 after numerous border incursions between the two nations. 

In 1965 India and Pakistan fought their second war after a clash between border patrols. Tens of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks engaged each other before agreeing to a UN mandated ceasefire in September. 

In 1971 India and Pakistan went to war again after a Bengali won the majority of the seats in the 1970 elections and West Pakistan (modern-day Pakistan) disallowed his rule in East Pakistan (modern-day Bangladesh). Pakistan launched a pre-emptive strike on airfields in India and India subsequently launched an air, land, and sea assault. The war lasted just 13 days and East Pakistan became the independent country of Bangladesh.

India and Pakistan have since undergone periods of relative peace interspersed with aggression and disagreement. The two nations have in the past detonated nuclear devices on their own land seemingly as an act of aggression and display of force. 

The Jammu and Kashmir region was administered as a state of India from 1952 to 2019 and is now recognised as a union territory administered by India, along with Ladakh to the East of Jummu and Kashmir. There are segments of the region that are still administered by Pakistan in the North, and by China in the East, but both remain claimed by India. The area is geopolitically complex and the precise location of the borders continue to be challenged by each side. 

For further information on Indian-Pakistani relations, see the resources below:


  1. India-Pakistan Relations: A 50-Year History | Asia Society