GEOGRAPHY - BORDERS
The role of borders is to separate countries. These barriers are closed in some areas or open in other areas. For example between India and Pakistan, the border can’t be crossed. It’s become a harsh fence because the 2 countries are fighting since 1947.
We have 2 documents.
* The first one is an excerpt of an article published on the 4th of July in 2004, in theNew York Times, a famous American daily newspaper. The author is Amy Waldman. The title of this article is “Good fences make good neighbours”.
* The second document is a map showing the Jammu and Kashmir area. We can see 3 main parts, the 3 nation-held Kashmir.
The key question is: Why is Jammu and Kashmir divided in 3 areas?
In the part 1, I will expose the chronology showing thedifferent stages of the conflict between India and Pakistan to control Kashmir.
In the second part, I will ask why is India building up a fence between Indian-held Kashmir and Pakistan.
1. The conflict between India and Pakistan.
The document 2 is a map focused on Jammu and Kashmir area. This map shows us 3 different areas. In green, the Northwest area is called the Pakistan-held Kashmir. Inyellow, the most important area is the South area. It’s Indian-held Kashmir. The red zone, on the Northeast, is the Chinese-held Kashmir.
To understand why Kashmir is nowadays divided in 3 parts and why there is a Line of Control between the areas, I will explain you the political events. They are exposed in the text written by Amy Waldman and published in The New York Times.
Jammu andKashmir area was a British territory as other parts of India. In 1947 (nineteen forty-seven), was organized the partition of the British Indian Empire into the Indian Empire and the Pakistan. The Indian Empire was almost Hindu and the Pakistan was intended to be a homeland for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent. Kashmir was then ruled over by a Maharaja called Hari Singh. The Maharaja was Hindubut main of the population was Muslim. So, the Maharaja had to make a difficult choice. The first possibility was to accept to join India, a country with Hindu as him, but in so doing he will hurt the population. The second possibility was to join Pakistan, a Muslim country but this was not her religion. So, Maharaja Hari Singh refused to join Pakistan or India and decided that the territory willbe independent. It was in fact a third possibility given by the British Indian Empire partition process.
Pakistan fighters invaded Kashmir in 1947. The Maharaja asked India some help and Indian soldiers entered Kashmir. Then the United Nations organization asked both India and Pakistan to leave the areas they have occupied. The United Nations decided that the accession of Kashmir to eitherIndia or Pakistan had to be determined in accordance with a plebiscite. But neither India, neither Pakistan organized this plebiscite. The diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan became very bad. 3 wars opposed the 2 countries in Kashmir territory.
At the end of the Soviet-Afghan war, in 1989, soviet military troops return back. Pakistanis, who were pro Afghanistan during the war, wantthat Kashmir join their country. So, a popular and armed insurgency starts in Kashmir.
2. The reasons why there is a fence between Indian-held Kashmir and Pakistan
Nowadays, Kashmir area that has quite the same superficies as Great Britain is divided in 3 areas.
* India has control of about half the area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
* Pakistan controls anotherimportant part of the region, in the Northwest.
* A third part of Kashmir is now under Chinese influence. It’s the North eastern area called Aksai Chin. The region is almost uninhabited, but is a part of the Tibetan plateau.
At the end of the last of 3 wars between India and Pakistan, cease-fire lines were decided. Fences were built. This border is called the Line of Control.
Lire le document complet
Veuillez vous inscrire pour avoir accès au document.