Why Kashmir remains one of the most militarized regions in the world.
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The dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is one of the longest running conflicts. Ever since Britain left India in 1947 and hastily drew borders demarcating a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan, Kashmir, located right between the two, has been fervently claimed by both nations.
India and Pakistan’s first war was fought over Kashmir’s status as the the newly independent countries were being formed. After over a year of bloody conflict the UN stepped in and brokered a ceasefire that drew a line down the middle of Kashmir and gave a portion of the territory to India and the remainder to Pakistan. This arrangement was meant to be temporary. Once the violence settled a vote was to be held that would allow Kashmiris to decide their own future.
But more than 70 years later, Kashmiris have yet to vote on their status. They remain stuck between two nuclear nations locked in a dangerous conflict with no end in sight.
Additional reading and sources on the conflict:
[UN report — Human Rights in Kashmir] https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IN/DevelopmentsInKashmirJune2016ToApril2018.pdf
[CFR Conflict Tracker]
[Freedom House Report]
Special thanks to Kashmiris who shared their opinions with us:
Through Vox Atlas, producer Sam Ellis demonstrates where conflicts occur on a map and the ways in which foreign policy shapes a region. Watch all the episodes here: http://bit.ly/2SThVsf
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