The conflict between the two countries mainly causes the involvement of other countries, both to resolve and suppress the conflict, and for their interests. War is the most primitive form of conflict resolution. However, there are geopolitical points in the world that, due to their strategic value, are an important aspect of the relationship between states and continents, so military conflicts are difficult to avoid. Political conflicts, which often result in wars, primarily disrupt domestic and world security, and consequently endanger the health of the population, destroy the economy, education, energy security and create an impossible flow of food to populations. Every war in the world is especially felt in developing countries. If the conflicting countries are also nuclear powers, then they automatically become the main topic of the international community. One of the most important geopolitical points with strategic value in the world is the wider area of Kashmir, which is located between the three nuclear powers of India, Pakistan, and China. Kashmir also borders Afghanistan, which is located at the crossroads connecting South and Central Asia, while Central Asia is itself a geographical bridge between Europe and other parts of Asia.
That is why Kashmir has a unique geopolitical status. Additional importance to this region is given by the access of Pakistan and India to the Arabian Sea, which gives them a direct connection with the maritime corridors and the Persian Gulf itself. We should not forget the fact that today unhindered traffic both by land and sea is just as valuable as the goods and services themselves that are transported through these corridors. The accelerated process of globalization has changed a lot and thus increased the value of sea and land routes. The traffic enables the circulation of money and the corridors’ unhindered flow. That is why the great geopolitical feature today is precisely transport, within which the transport of oil and water, as energy drivers of the present and the future, are at the very top. The territory is valuable, along with oil and water, as much as it is connected to the rest of the world. Considering all the above, Kashmir is a vital component of China’s national interests, especially because of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The conflict over Kashmir between Pakistan and India was waged in three wars and began in 1947. Both countries felt that the territory belonged to them completely. The Indo-Pakistani war ended with an UN-mediated ceasefire that set up its forces in an Interzone called the Line of Surveillance. After further fighting in the wars of 1965 and 1971, the Simla Agreement formally established a line of control between the territories under the control of the two nations. In 1999, an armed conflict between the two countries broke out again in Kargil, which did not change the situation on the ground. It is important to note that Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1994, so this fact also brought balance to the relations between the two countries.
India without Kashmir would not have such a significant position on the map of Central Asia, in that case, it would not have a connection to land trade routes. Control of the area provides a valuable advantage in positioning all sides, where we should not forget the proximity of Tajikistan, which still has strong ties with Russia. On the other hand, Pakistan’s economy is integrated into world trade with strong trade ties with the European Union, but also with Asia. Pakistan has a very important strategic position given that it is on the way of the main maritime and land transport connections going from Central Asia and the Middle East to the center of South and East Asia. Stretching along with the Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), they make this country an even more significant crossroads. Pakistan has developed very close diplomatic relations not only with the People’s Republic of China but also with Turkey and the Arab states. Relations with the United States are volatile due to differences in interests during the Cold War and the war on terror.
Although India is much larger than its northern neighbor, it still has a less favorable geographical position in the context of China’s new land transport infrastructure investment plans. That is why India is trying to connect with the trade route through Afghanistan, which leads through Central Asia to Russia and Europe. India sells a good part of its goods to world markets via the Arabian Sea and Iranian ports. Through Kashmir, India would have direct access to the same land routes that Pakistan has. In their endeavors better positioned in the region and on the global stage, India has the support of Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, France, Bhutan, Australia, Afghanistan, Canada, North Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Based on all given, it is clear why the security of Kashmir is important for the national interests of both Pakistan and India. Although not a direct participant in the conflict in the region, China is very interested in stability in that part of the world. A strong and developed economy of any country, especially of populous countries like these three, is not possible without secure transport corridors through which goods, capital, and people pass. All countries around Kashmir are very aware of that, and in principle, none of them is interested in a conflict, but also in deviating from the territory. The question of how to achieve the rule of law and lasting peace and stability on this piece of land remains unanswered.
Although Bosnia and Herzegovina have no direct contact with this region, it should still closely monitor all events in the world, because accelerated globalization leaves no one behind, including our country. Lessons can be learned from the political conflicts in Kashmir for our region, which is also one of the most sensitive security zones on the planet. As a participant in international relations, our country should, in its capacities, participate in every field, political, economic, cultural, etc. As an independent state and political factor, Bosnia and Herzegovina should get rid of the practice of conducting diplomacy emotionally and identifying with other religious and ethnic grounds. This is true for all three peoples in our country, who inflict the greatest damage with such policies on Bosnia and Herzegovina and all its inhabitants. The establishment of an efficient economy will not be possible without political awareness and communication with the world through developed and professional diplomacy. Kashmir can only be an example of how the great powers are positioned in one area, where the highest price is paid by the people of Kashmir. In this sense, the Balkans, and especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, cannot solve their problems outside the European Union and NATO, so this should be clear to all participants in regional policy. The free flow of people, goods, and capital, and thus the rise of local economies, would be accelerated by entering under one security cloak, which is certainly unavoidable.