SRINAGAR: There are currently more than 150 disputes plaguing the world but Kashmir has been described as one of the top six worrisome disputes by the National Geographic.
Territorial disputes are nothing new, but political analysts warn of a rise in tensions because of Russia’s bold move into Crimea.
When it comes to territorial disputes across the globe, the list is long and ever-changing. There are now more than 150 disputes under way that involve territory, mostly in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region, but also in Europe and the Americas. Some disputes are on the distant horizon (Antarctica), some are long-simmering (Jammu and Kashmir), and otherslike Crimeaare at their boiling point.
Few subjects are more politically sensitive than territorial disputes; the UN declined to comment for this story, citing those sensitivities. But as Richard Haass, an American diplomat and president of the Council on Foreign Relations says, “There is no shortage of disputes either about territory or with a territorial dimension.” Some of the world’s most contentious and vexing disputes involve territory in: Crimea; East China Sea; Kashmir; Goaln Heights, Gaza Strip-West Bank; Western Sahara and Transdniestria in pacific.
The former princely state of India and Pakistan (once part of the British Empire, now part of India, Pakistan, and China) has been disputed since the British relinquished control of the subcontinent in the 1940s. A heavily militarized, 450-mile-long (724-kilometer-long) Line of Control has long pitted Indian and Pakistani forces against each other in this contested Himalayan region.
The stakes were raised in 1998 when Pakistan started to catch up with India technologically and both countries publicly tested their nuclear weapons. In some ways that escalation, however, may be part of what is containing the crisis. “In many cases, these disputes simply linger,” says Haass. “It becomes politically too difficult to compromise and militarily too dangerous to press your case.”
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