Salman Rushdie's acclaimed Booker Prize winning novel, "Midnight's Children," tells the story of two sons switched at birth who were born at the very midnight hour when India awoke to independence and freedom. Although Rushdie also penned a novel, "Shame," about Pakistan, it is "Midnight's Children" that better serves as a metaphor for both India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan became independent states on the stroke of midnight on Aug. 14 (Pakistan) and Aug. 15 (India), 1947. Like South Asia, Kashmir was partitioned at birth. A Muslim majority state ruled by a Hindu maharajah, it had been incorporated by India at independence. However, India's claim to Kashmir was contested by Pakistan, which invaded Kashmir shortly after partition.

The United Nations was called in to broker a ceasefire and divided Kashmir along a Line of Control but no final border was established. Further attempts were made by Pakistan to redraw the border by force, most notably in 1965 and then in 1999 when nuclear war was barely avoided after Pakistani military incursions in the Kargil region brought a strong rebuke by the international community. However, the Line of Control separating colonial India's midnight's children in the Northwest has remained unchanged. What has changed is the nature of the weapons in the possession of the combatants.