MP Hikmat Mammadov (Babaoglu) justified the delay in the return process of IDPs with the threat of landmines during a debate with Ilgar Mammadov, chairman of the REAL Party on Tv Musavat on August 26.
In the debate organized on the day the Azerbaijani army was stationed in Lachin, the MP said to strengthen his position that Nagorno-Karabakh was the most militarized territory in the world.
"The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was the most militarized territory in the world. This is seen in all statistics and international reports," said Babaoglu.
Fakt Yoxla examined whether this claim was true.
Militarized zone means an area with armed soldiers. According to the record published by the Guinness Book of Records in 2011, the most militarized country in the world in terms of the number of military personnel per capita is North Korea. But since the MP's claim is not aimed at countries, the scope of the investigation is limited to conflict zones.
According to a report published in 2008 by the Advanced Research and Assessment Group operating under the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, the main higher education institution of the British military forces, the number of soldiers and officers in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh Republic amounted to 18-20 thousand people. According to the research group, 8,500 soldiers were from Karabakh, and the remaining 10,000 were brought from Armenia.
On the website of the separatist republic, the area of Nagorno-Karabakh is 11,500 square kilometers, and the population is 145,000. According to this calculation, there were 1.2-1.4 soldiers for every 10 civilians, and 1.6-1.7 soldiers per square kilometer. But, do these facts give reason to say that Nagorno-Karabakh is the most militarized territory?
World Factbook has published research on all conflict zones in the world. The article, which also includes the Karabakh conflict, shows that Kashmir is the world's largest and most militarized conflict zone. In 2013, the Guinness Book of Records announced that Kashmir is the most militarized conflict zone. The same claim was emphasized in the study published by Forbes in 2016, and in the article published by SBS World News in 2019.
According to a calculation in 2004, up to 700,000 soldiers were stationed in Kashmir, one of the heavy conflict zones. There were about 57 soldiers per square mile, and about one soldier for every ten civilians. In other words, there are 31 soldiers per square kilometer in Kashmir, and about one soldier per 10 civilians.
Although the number of soldiers per capita in Nagorno-Karabakh is slightly higher than in Kashmir, the number of soldiers in the territory is 15 times less than in Kashmir. Furthermore, the total number of soldiers stationed in Kashmir is 35 times more than in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Among the reports reviewed by Fakt Yoxla, only the study prepared by the Advanced Research and Assessment Group in 2008 highlighted that there are 65 soldiers per 1,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is the highest indicator in the South Caucasus.
Thus, in the articles and studies published during the past period, it was emphasized that Kashmir is the most militarized area in the world. Only in the report of the Advanced Research and Assessment Group operating under the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, which is the main higher education institution of the British military forces, it is written that the number of military personnel per capita in Nagorno-Karabakh is the highest in the South Caucasus.
Fakt Yoxla concludes that Hikmat Babaoglu's claim is a Manipulation of Facts.