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INDIA: Following months of unrest in the one of the world's major geopolitical
flashpoints, this morning the Indian gov't officially divided the state of Jammu
and Kashmir into two separate union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
- Union territories do not enjoy the same level of autonomy from the federal
government in New Delhi as states do.
- The 'line of control' (border between Indian-controlled side of Kashmir and
the Pakistani-controlled side) is heavily militarised, and made all the more
dangerous given that both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons. The
revocation of Kashmir's 'special status' by the Indian gov't in August saw a
major uptick in violence in the Muslim-majority region.
- Should the situation escalate further, via direct attack or miscalculation,
major global powers could be drawn into a destabilising conflict.
- China has a major interest in Pakistani stability given its Belt & Road
project is reliant on overland route through the country to the Indian Ocean.
The US has long-standing interest in maintaining stability given the region's
close proximity to Afghanistan.