India–Pakistan border

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India–Pakistan border
India-Pakistan Border at Night.jpg
Nighttime panorama of the border, stretching from the Arabian Sea to the foothills of the Himalayas
Entities  India  Pakistan
Length3,323 kilometres (2,065 mi)
Established17 August 1947

Creation of the Radcliffe Line by Sir Cyril Radcliffe due to the Partition of India
Current shape2 July 1972

Demarcation of the Line of Control after ratification of the Simla Treaty
TreatiesKarachi Agreement, Simla Agreement
NotesThe Line of Control separates Kashmir between India and Pakistan, it is not an internationally recognized border

The India–Pakistan Border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is an international border running between India and Pakistan that demarcates the Indian states and the Pakistani four provinces. The border runs from the Line of Control (LoC), which separates Indian-controlled Kashmir from Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, in the north, to the Zero Point between the Indian state of Gujarat and the Sindh province of Pakistan, in the south.[1]

Drafted and created based upon the Radcliffe line in 1947, the border, which divides Pakistan and India from each other, traverses a variety of terrains ranging from major urban areas to inhospitable deserts.[2] Since the independence of India and Pakistan (see British India), the border has been a site of numerous conflicts and wars between each country, and is one of the most complex borders in the world.[2] The border's total length is 3,323 km (2,065 mi),[2] according to the figures given by the PBS; it is also one of the most dangerous borders in the world, based on an article written in the Foreign Policy in 2011.[3] It can be seen from space at night due to the 150,000 flood lights installed by India on about 50 thousand poles.[4][5][6]

Working Boundary, Line of Control, and International Boundary[edit]

Map showing Line of Control (LOC) and Working boundary in Kashmir

The border between the two Nations is an internationally recognised frontier from Gujarat/Sindh only with exemption to the Line of Control that is not internationally accepted. The Kashmir disputed region is divided by the 1949 UN ceasefire line, established after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, into two main parts and the de facto demarcation dividing Pakistan-administered Kashmir from Indian-administered Kashmir has been called the Line of Control since 1972.[7]

Between Pakistan and India lies the Pakistani territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and, also the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. On the other side where the internal borders of the Pakistan's Punjab provincial border, is officially called the Working Boundary by Pakistan (which is a recent term) and international border by the Government of India.[7]

  1. Working boundary: The line between Punjab Province of Pakistan along Sialkot and Indian controlled Kashmir. It is called a working boundary because on one side is an internationally recognised land (Sialkot) while on the other is a disputed territory.[7]
  2. Line of Control (LOC): Line of control is the boundary between the Pakistani Azad Kashmir and Indian Jammu and Kashmir. It was demarcated after the Simla pact in 1972.[7]
  3. International boundary: The demarcated line between the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan recognized internationally. Sir Cyril Radcliffe Demarcated the land in 1947.[7]

Border crossings[edit]

Wagah-Attari border ceremony[edit]

Pakistani border soldier performing a high kick at the Wagah border ceremony in 2015.
Wagah border ceremony, 2015.

The flag lowering ceremony at the village of Wagah is held each evening immediately before sunset by the border agents of Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) and India (Border Security Force or BSF).[9] It is a tradition dating back to 1959. The ceremony begins with battle calls from both sides in the form of loud screaming done by the border guards. This is followed by a series of organized high kicks, stomps, and dance moves during which the opposing forces stare each other down.[10] The event ends with a handshake of good faith being exchanged by the head guards along with the lowering of the flags.[10] The crowd cheers and claps enthusiastically through it all. The ritual is known to attract international tourists and even celebrities.[10] It is symbolic of the brotherhood as well as the rivalry that these two nations share.[10] The border troops are known to exchange sweets with the opposing side during the Muslim holidays of Eid and Hindu holiday of Diwali, but in 2016 and 2018 the BSF have avoided doing so due to rising military tensions. It has been a peaceful gathering with the exception of the 2014 Wagah border suicide attack in which 60 people were killed and over 110 people were left injured.[11] It has also been cancelled on occasion such as when Pakistan returned Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman back to India after his plane was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff.[12]

Similar border ceremonies held by the India (Border Security Force, BSF) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) occur at Fazilka border (India side) / Sulaimanki, Punjab and Hussainiwala border, Punjab (India side) / Ganda Singh Wala border, Kasur District (Pakistan side). These rituals are attended primarily by the local villagers and garner very few spectator tourists.

Water Conflict[edit]

Water insecurity has and will continue to be a predominant cause of conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to both water shortages in both countries and the Kabul River. The Kabul River supplies 26 percent of the annual flow of water into Pakistan. [13]However, the Afghan government recently announced that they will soon commence work on the construction of the 236 million dollar Shahtoot Dam on the Kabul river. [14]The dam is expected to hold 146 million cubic meters of portable water for 2 million Kabul residents and irrigate 4,000 hectares of land in the Charasiab district of the province. The project is a component of Afghanistan’s India-backed ambitious plans of building 12 dams on the Kabul River basin. Pakistani officials showed deep concerns regarding the inauspicious effects of the project on the agricultural production and livelihood of Peshawar residents. Pakistani media have even framed the project as Afghanistan’s oppressive policy toward Pakistan, masterminded by India, but Afghanistan continues to argue that improving its power and water infrastructures is imperative to jumpstart its lagging economy and ensure internal stability.

International Relations[edit]

  1. China: Pakistan has a close and supportive relationship with China, with the People’s Republic of China providing economic, military, and technical assistance to Pakistan, and each country considers the other a close strategic ally. China is Pakistan’s largest supplier of weapons and one of its largest trading partners. There are strong military ties between China and Pakistan beyond the supply of weapons. This alliance between two neighboring Asian nations is significant geopolitically, as the strong military ties counter regional Indian and American influence. China-India disputes have emerged concerning land borders and economic competition that has led to strained relations. China even now supports Pakistan in the Pakistani-Indian conflicts but has partaken in virtually no combat on the physical border of China and India, preferring to work remotely through the Pakistani-Indian border. China has continued to support Pakistan in the argument over Kashmir even into the 2010s.[15]
  2. Afghanistan: See above section


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khan, MH (5 March 2006). "Back on track". Dawn News archives. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c PBS Release (July 26, 2005). "Border Jumpers The World's Most Complex Borders: Pakistan/India". PBS. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  3. ^ PHILIP WALKER (June 24, 2011). "The World's Most Dangerous Borders". The Foreign Policy. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Dailymail". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  5. ^ "India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night". India-Pakistan Border at Night. NASA. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Annotated image from NASA".
  7. ^ a b c d e Library, C. N. N. "Kashmir Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  8. ^ "Radcliffe Line to divide India-Pakistan was formed this day: Read about it here". India Today. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  9. ^ Khaleeli, Homa (2010-11-01). "Goodbye to the ceremony of silly walks between India and Pakistan". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  10. ^ a b c d Clark, Tawny. "India and Pakistan's beautiful border ritual". Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  11. ^ "Pakistan border bombing kills dozens". 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  12. ^ "Daily Retreat ceremony along Attari-Wagah border cancelled: BSF". The Economic Times. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  13. ^ "Kābul River | river, Pakistan-Afghanistan". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  14. ^ "Afghanistan: Should Go Ahead With Shahtoot Dam On Kabul River – Analysis". March 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "China firmly with Pakistan, says Beijing as Islamabad raises Kashmir in top talks". Hindustan Times. March 19, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to India-Pakistan border at Wikimedia Commons