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Lecture 15

GEOG 3RW3 Lecture 15: Geography 3RW3 - Lecture 15 - Contemporary Geopolitical Issues

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Segei Basik

Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 1 Lecture 15 – Thursday February 5 Contemporary Geopolitical Issues Introduction • Images o Can be compare to the Middle East o Both very problematic regions in geopolitical term o Image: border between two countries o We can see this line from space o Political boundaries between India and Pakistan • Global Peace Index o Map outlining the state of peace in various countries o Red is the worst in terms of peace o Pakistan is red o Indian is also pretty low o Interesting geopolitical point of view in our planet The South Asian Geopolitical Environment: The Main Factors • 1. The Colonial Past and the Partition of India in 1947 o All kinds of problems for South Asia • 2. India’s Determination To Be A Regional Power; Pakistan’s Efforts To Defend Itself Against India o India and Pakistan both declared themselves to be nuclear powers (1998) o Unlike Russia and the US, they are not bound by any treaty obliging them to reveal the extent of their arsenals • 3. An Economic Development and Domestic Politics in South Asia o India’s economic prospects are hopeful and will continue to outstrip those of Pakistan o Pakistan’s social and economic underdevelopment exacerbates public dissatisfaction with politics and increases support for Islamic extremist groups o Internal secularism and communal problems • Threats To Regional Security o The regional tensions in South Asia between its states o The tensions between New Delhi and Beijing o Internal tensions in South Asian states 1. The Kashmir Problem Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 2 • Map: University of Texas o Under the partition plan (1947), the state of Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan o In 1947 – about 2/3 out of 15 million of population were Muslim – the basis for Pakistan to claim the territory o Kashmir Hindu ruler wanted to stay independent, but eventually decided to accede to India – the basis for India to claim this territory o Three India-Pakistan wars: 1947-1948, 1965 (spread to Punjab), 1971 (the Siachen Glacier – “the world’s highest battlefield”) o Since 1950– China pressed claims and occupied north eastern part o Pakistan ceded part of the occupied territory to China (1963) – good relationships with China o India rejected the claims – chilly relationships with China o Currently: India – 55% of the old state of Kashmir, Pakistan – 30%, China – 15% o In the 1990s, separatist militancy and cross-border firing left a death toll running into tens of thousands o In 2002 – a huge deployment of troops on the border – India reacted to an armed attack to National Parliament in Delhi (2001) o India blamed the Pakistani-based militants – a charge always denied by Pakistan Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 3 o Tension again resurfaced with the Mumbai attacks (2008) – a gunmen from Pakistan killed 165 people o Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India where Muslims are in the majority – many Kashmiris still do not consider themselves part of India and profess that they never will o Social and economic problems – high unemployment o Violent demonstrations and curfews are still a feature of life o Heavy-handed tactics from Indian military forces in stifling their protests • The Kashmir Conflict Cost o Permanent regional instability o More than 65,000 people killed
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