Two Borders, Two Disputes

The two major disputed borders India has are with China and Pakistan. With Pakistan, the disputed border falls in Jammu and Kashmir, a legacy of the 1948 war. When India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire on January 1, 1949, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire line (CFL). This line was not just marked on a map but was also agreed upon by the two sides on the ground with a joint survey by the two armies. The CFL, with minor variations, was converted into the Line of Control (LoC) during the Simla Agreement, following India’s victory in the 1971 Bangladesh War. Agreed upon both on the ground and on the map, the new nomenclature was meant to show that J&K was a bilateral dispute and some kind of final answer for the Kashmir problem would be found around the LoC.

The LoC was, by and large, peaceful for nearly two decades thereafter but degenerated into an active shooting match between the two armies, following the deterioration of the internal security situation in Kashmir that owed much to Pakistani intervention. Kargil and the following years saw a peak in hostile activity between the two sides on the LoC, with soldiers and civilians on both sides losing limbs and lives as a result of unrestrained heavy firing. Things became peaceful with the ceasefire of 2003 but by late 2015, the LoC started heating up again. Last year was particularly bad: India recorded 860 ceasefire violations and lost 32 soldiers on the LoC. Read More…

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