Line of Control

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Not to be confused with Line of Actual Control.

Coordinates: 34°56′N 76°46′E / 34.933°N 76.767°E / 34.933; 76.767

The areas shown in green are the two Pakistani-controlled areas: Gilgit–Baltistan in the north and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in the south. The area shown in orange is the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir, and the diagonally-hatched area to the east is the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin.
United Nations map of the Line of Control. The LOC is not defined near Siachen Glacier.

The term Line of Control (LOC) known as Asia's Berlin wall,[1][2] refers to the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which, to this day, does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border. Originally known as the "Cease-fire Line", it was redesignated as the "Line of Control" following the Simla Agreement, which was signed on 3 July 1972. The part of the former princely state that is under Indian control is known as the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The two parts of the former princely state that are under Pakistani control are known as Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Its northernmost point is known as the NJ9842.

Another cease-fire line, one that separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin, lies further to the east and is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It has been referred to as one of the most dangerous places in the world.[3][4]

Legacy

The Line of Control divided Kashmir into two parts and closed the Jehlum valley route, the only entrance and exit of the Kashmir Valley at that time. This territorial division which, to this day still exists severed many villages and separated family members from each other.[5][6]

Pakistani and Indian positions

Pakistani position

Predominant Religions in NW British India 1909

The Pakistan Declaration of 1933 had envisioned the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as one of the "five Northern units of India" that were to form the new nation of Pakistan, on the basis of its Muslim majority. Pakistan still claims the whole of Kashmir as its own territory, including Indian-controlled Kashmir. India has a different perspective on this interpretation.

Indian position

Maharaja Hari Singh, King of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir agreed to Governor-General Mountbatten's[7][8] suggestion to sign the Instrument of Accession India demanded accession in return for assistance. India claimed that the whole territory of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had become Indian territory (India's official posture) due to the accession, it claims the whole region including Azad Kashmir territory as its own.

Indian Line of Control fencing

The Indian Line of Control fencing is a 550 km (340 mi) barrier along the 740 km (460 mi) disputed 1972 Line of Control (or ceasefire line). The fence, constructed by India, generally remains about 150 yards on the Indian-controlled side. Its stated purpose is to exclude arms smuggling and infiltration by Pakistani-based separatist militants.[9]

The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as "fast alert signals" to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.[10][11]

The construction of the barrier was begun in the 1990s, but slowed in the early 2000s as hostilities between India and Pakistan increased. After a November 2003 ceasefire agreement, building resumed and was completed in late 2004. LoC fencing was completed in Kashmir Valley and Jammu region on 30 September 2004.[12] According to Indian military sources, the fence has reduced by 80% the numbers of militants who routinely cross into the Indian side of the disputed state to attack soldiers.[13]

Pakistan has criticized the construction of the barrier, saying it violates both bilateral accords and relevant United Nations resolutions on the region.[14] While The European Union has supported India's stand calling the fencing as "improvement in technical means to control terrorists infiltration." also pointing that the Line of Control has been delineated in accordance with the 1972 Shimla agreement.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ "LOC will fall like Berlin wall Yasin Malik". greaterkashmir.com. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Breaching Asia's Berlin wall". khaleejtimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  3. ^ Analysis: The world's most dangerous place?
  4. ^ 'Most dangerous place'
  5. ^ Ranjan Kumar Singh, Sarhad: Zero Mile, (Hindi), Parijat Prakashan, ISBN 81-903561-0-0
  6. ^ Women in Security, Conflict Management, a Peace (Program) (2008). Closer to ourselves: stories from the journ towards peace in South Asia. WISCOMP, Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lam 2008. p. 75. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Viscount Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, stayed on in independent India from 1947 to 1948, serving as the first Governor-General of the Union of India.
  8. ^ Stein, Burton. 1998. A History of India. Oxford University Press. 432 pages. ISBN 0-19-565446-3. Page 368.
  9. ^ "cross-border infiltration and terrorism"
  10. ^ "LoC fencing in Jammu nearing completion". The Hindu. Feb 1, 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Mines of war maim innocents". Tehelka. 
  12. ^ "LoC fencing completed: Mukherjee". The Times Of India. 16 December 2004. 
  13. ^ "Harsh weather likely to damage LoC fencing". Daily Times. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  14. ^ a b "EU criticises Pak's stand on LoC fencing". Express India. Dec 16, 2003. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 

Further reading