Geography and History of the World © 2010 Indiana Edition

Chapter 24: Cultural Geography of South Asia


In this chapter you have read about the division of British India in 1947 into the two separate and independent countries of India and Pakistan. At that time Kashmir was free to join either country. However, the Hindu ruler signed over power to India, upsetting the territory's majority Muslim population. Since then, the area has been a flashpoint for conflict between India and Pakistan. The BBC News Web site on Kashmir explores this continuing conflict.

Destination Title: Flashpoint Kashmir: Special Report

Start at the Flashpoint Kashmir: Special Report Web site of BBC News.
  • Read through the site, taking notes as you go. Make sure to click on each topic-"Q and A: The Kashmir Conflict," "Who are the Kashmir militants?" "The balance of firepower," and "Troubled relations"—for detailed information.
  • From the main screen, scroll down and click on Battle in the Heavens. Read this information.
  • For additional information, you may want to click on the topics under "The Kargil Conflict."

Using information gathered from this site, answer the following questions.

Describe the terrain through which the Line of Control (LOC) passes. What are the altitude and climate conditions?
Why is maintaining troops on the Siachen glacier so difficult? Why was the international border in this area never established?
What role does religion play in the conflict over Kashmir?
How is the Kashmir territory currently divided? How is the Kashmiri population distributed?
Write an essay about the disputed territory of Kashmir. Discuss the various factions fighting in the area, and propose possible ways of resolving the conflict.
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