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Understanding Azerbaijan and Armenia war current affairs 2021 issue CSS UPSC exams

Understanding Azerbaijan and Armenia war current affairs issue 2021

Mostly when we talk about war, we focus on its ideological causes or Human Rights violations but there is one more factor that is often ignored, The 3rd Side Of The Picture. That is the Economy. Wars also fought for economic gains. Azarbaijan and Armenia war is one of the most recent economical wars of this decade. 

Understanding Azerbaijan and Armenia war current affairs issue 2020 CSS UPSC exams

Today we will discuss a Current Affairs topic. not specific to Pakistan but an International Issue. If I ask you to highlight some points on the World Map Where countries are fighting against one another in the name of religion? Maybe you would say PALESTINE where Muslim countries are fighting against non-Muslims. 

The Dispute of Kashmir between Pakistan and India can also be cited as an example. where the Islamic Republic is confronting a Hindu-State. There are many other factors as well But religion is a major factor in this dispute. 

If I ask you for another example (of a religion-based dispute between countries) Maybe most of the Pakistanis would only be able to give an example of the ERTUGRUL series. where Muslims are fighting against the Crusaders. 

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Right now in 2020, Roughly in the same area. where you see Ertugrul's Tribe striving. There is a war going on between a Muslim Majority Country and There is a war going on between a Muslim Majority Country and a Non-Muslim Country. 

There is a war going on between a Muslim Majority Country and a Non-Muslim Country. Interestingly, Islamic countries are supporting their brotherly state. While Christian powers are supporting a Christian majority state. Here I'm talking about the on-going conflict between AZERBAIJAN and ARMENIA. To understand this conflict let's understand the map first. Azerbaijan on the map looks like a flying bird. 

Understanding Azerbaijan and Armenia war current affairs issue 2020 CSS UPSC exams

You can see that the highlighted area on the map has no direct land route to the rest of Azerbaijan. One may recall Pakistan's map after independence in 1947.   

East Pakistan ( Now Bangladesh ) and West Pakistan had no connection by land.   in between, we had an enemy state. In the same way, Azerbaijan also has its worst enemy i.e. Armenia separating its land into two. Before we move on to the topic. let me quickly share an interesting detail with you Azerbaijan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, is a Muslim Majority state, and in just 23$,  Pakistanis can get its visa. Flights are also cheap you can go by road also and visit this beautiful country.

Back to the topic, The highlighted region on the map is called ' Nagorno-Karabakh'. The territory's population is mostly ethnic Armenian On this basis Armenia claims this land. 

Much to your surprise, this land has no boundary or by road link connection with Armenia. but you will astound even more to know that this Azerbaijani land and its surrounding area is controlled not by Azerbaijan but by Armenia.  

Almost 20% of Azerbaijan's territory is under the control of Armenia for the past 3 decades. To deeply understand this conflict let's go through Azerbaijan's History At the beginning of the 20th Century, Azerbaijan emerged as the first Islamic country of World Map in 1918

However, as it is famously said When Elephants fight, grass suffers. When big powers go through social or political changes/crises they also greatly influence neighboring small states. In 1917, Russia was going through difficult times before this they were ruled by dictators then civil wars broke out after that a new leader emerged Vladimir Lenin, was the first leader of the Soviet Union. 

This was the time when Azerbaijan turned into 'Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.' After Lenin, a new leader comes Even crueller than Lenin You have must hear about Hitler but in the same Era, there was Joseph Stalin who was equally brutal. 

He had a very strong hold, socially, economically, and culturally socially, economically, and culturally over Soviet Republics including Azerbaijan. And he was the one who declared Nagorno-Karabakh as an autonomous region. 

This region had a population of ethnic Armenians but it was a part of Azerbaijan. Under his rule, the Azerbaijani people couldn't do much because of the atrocities of Stalin. but as the collapse of the Soviet Union approached near especially in 1988, when the Soviet's fall was imminent and when the centralized USSR government begin to lose its control over these regions.

This was the time when these states began to fight for old territorial disputes. in 1988 Armenia again claimed Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan denied and war broke out between them the war continued for several years by 1994 when a ceasefire was signed much of Azerbaijan's territory was occupied by Armenia this area is internationally recognized as Azerbaijan but since the ceasefire, it is under Armenia's control and will remain so until the issue is resolved. 

As explained earlier, 20% of Azerbaijan's land is occupied by Armenia for the past 3 decades. this is adding to the frustration of Azerbaijan's youth because neither the issue is being resolved nor they can govern their own 'undisputed' part. This frustration was also the cause of a 4-days full-fledged war in 2016. Again in 2020, we are seeing border tensions, some Azerbaijani civilians and army personnel have died as a result of cross-border firing. however, it is not yet clear which side started the recent conflict. 

Right now, the Azerbaijani public is protesting and putting pressure on the government to go into a full-fledged war and avenge their soldiers' deaths. Turkey, a strong regional power has openly announced its support to Azerbaijan. 

Contrary to this, Russia a Christian majority country is supporting Armenia. The USA also supports Armenia in this conflict. If we talk about indirect support i.e diplomatically again you would find out that INDIA, a non-muslim country, supports Armenia whereas, Pakistan supports Azerbaijan's stance. A few days back, our Foreign Office has also openly condemned the Armenian attack. 

Historically, also Pakistan has always supported Azerbaijan on the diplomatic level. Mostly when we talk about war we emphasize its ideological causes or focus on human rights violations. But there is one more factor, the 3rd side of the picture, which is often ignored That is the economy. Wars are also fought for economic gains. 

As many people say about Kashmir's conflict that apart from ideological conflict or religious differences, it is also a conflict of resources. Azerbaijan's conflict is also the same to an extent. Azerbaijan was once the largest producer of oil in the world (back in the 20th century). Even today its economy depends on oil and gas a lot. 

Also, if you try to understand this map, this 60 Miles gap is known as GANJA-GAP. This is the only trade route to Asia for European countries if they wish to avoid trade from Iran Russia   The only option Europeans have for trade via land in Azerbaijan. and It's only a 60 Miles wide passage for trade. This is the economic reason.

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Why Armenia wants to hold, control, and influence this region 

Is this a religious conflict? if you expect a straightforward reply The answer is NO. It is not a religious conflict. First of all, the Azerbaijani people Majority of them prefer the Separation of State Church. Secondly, their lifestyle is also most similar to Europeans and they don't seem much obsessed with religion. Lastly, If you try to deeply understand this conflict this is a territorial or ethnic dispute, not a religious one. However, When things get worse anywhere in the world and when wars seem inevitable. Those people become popular who champion different ideologies. For example, leaders who wish to have a religious government in Azerbaijan are not very popular nowadays. 

But if the conflict with Armenia gets worse, they will gain popularity, especially when they'll cite religious disputes in other parts of the world in their speeches. They can say that just like other parts of the world where countries are fighting for religion, Armenia is also oppressing them only because of religious differences. They would sound logical to their followers. 

To sum it up,  This conflict is not religious at the moment but it has the potential of converting into a very big religious conflict. on this note, I would conclude the video. if you think that I have skipped any point Please share that in the comments section.

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