By Amin Bagheri
Territorial wars have always existed in the world, and sometimes the resolution of disputes has lasted for centuries, millions of people have been killed, and great civilizations have perished. Despite all the progress, humanity is still pursuing a war strategy for land ownership. These days, there are strange puzzles in South Asia that may be confusing. Nepal has border tensions with India and is publishing a new map! India has border tensions with China, leading to war between the two sides. Almost all countries in the region are involved, and the very high population density of countries such as China, India, and Pakistan has made the competition very complicated. But if we look for the culprit of this whole conflict with a deep look at the history of this part of Asia, we can say that Britain is the main cause of the current conflicts in South Asia. Undoubtedly, the conflict between China, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan is due to the calculated and cowardly demarcations that the British drew during their rule on the subcontinent. There were many ambiguities, unresolved issues such as Kashmir, the main cause of the conflict between India, China, and Pakistan, and even the timing of the Durand Line between Pakistan and Afghanistan by the British Queen’s representatives during the colonial era.
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Indian and Chinese forces lined up on the shores of a small border lake called Pangong Tsu. The dispute, which occurred at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, is the clearest manifestation of the differences between the world’s two most populous countries, but it is not the only reason for the two countries’ distrust of each other. China is the farthest region of Greater Kashmir. It is clear that India claims ownership of the region, but as a document it claims to have mapped out exactly the disputed area, meaning that the British did not specify the task. China also claims ownership of the land, and India, which thinks the area is part of New Delhi, has rejected China’s offer to negotiate in 1949 and the 1950s. On the other hand, China, which has proven its ownership of the region, is starting to build roads in a disputed area without attracting India’s attention. The Indians are too late to find their way to the road, and this escalates into a 1962 war. Victory in this war is for China, and the Aqsa region will be part of its territory, but at the cost of 722 Chinese troops and 1383 Indian troops. In this war, China declares a ceasefire and promises to return to the agreed borders. In the 1980s, the two countries decided to sign peace agreements and work to prevent tensions near the borders. In a recent confrontation, China claimed that India, despite its past commitments, had built a road in the undecided area that could be used for military purposes. This led to a conflict between the two countries.
The Tibetan Challenge
Given the slow pace of China-India talks on territorial disputes, it can be said that Beijing’s trick is to prevent a final agreement until Beijing can completely overcome Tibet’s unrest. Although recent decades there has been no sign of widespread unrest in Tibet, and the region’s lack of attention to Beijing and significant economic growth has reduced the dissatisfaction of Tibetans, the Dalai Lama and his propaganda are still effective in this area and have countless followers. However, the Chinese hope that after the death of the Dalai Lama, they will be able to bring a dependent to power in Tibetan religious circles as the next Lama. Perhaps this is why the Chinese are trying to keep the territorial conflicts with India alive to cope with the unrest in Tibet after Lama’s death, they could put pressure on New Delhi to force them to thwart the activities of Tibetans in exile who have formed a provisional government in India.
India and Pakistan
New Delhi is fighting Islamabad, which once formed a territory with its people, but now Muslims have formed a separate state called Pakistan. The issue of Kashmir is more serious for Pakistan. According to the promise made by the British during the division of the two countries, the areas where most of the residents are Muslims should reach Pakistan, which is also the case in Kashmir, but India does not accept this. The two countries have experienced three major military confrontations to capture Kashmir. But none of them managed to add the whole area to their territory. The United Nations says the problem will end with a referendum. The people of Kashmir will decide for their future, but India will not accept this because most Kashmiris are Muslims and although they may not be willing to join Pakistan, they will most likely not accept accession to India. The failure to resolve the Kashmir issue has dealt a heavy blow to the economies of both countries. India, for example, has to deploy about 700,000 troops to Kashmir to suppress any liberal action, or Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price to secure its borders.
In closing, the main cause of controversy in South Asia these days is Britain’s deliberate demarcation during its time on the subcontinent. Which has led to the creation of indefinite territorial sovereignty in the region. Besides, China’s extravagance, which seeks to find its former political and economic position after the distrust of the United States and Europe after the outbreak of the coronavirus, has added to the unrest in South Asia. Conflicts that have not been resolved for 70 years, and even if they continue for another 70 years, will be in vain. Accordingly,
holding a free referendum can pose a major security challenge in the South Asian region, and large government budgets will be spent on deprived people who long for a normal life instead of being used to buying bullets and missiles.