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Sunday, April 11, 2021

India’s border disputes: Everything you need to know

There are numerous disputed territories that India has with several other countries. Here’s everything you need to know about India’s border disputes.

India and China dispute — Aksai Chin

India and China, the world’s two most populous nations, have locked horns recently in the Himalayas. This dispute has the potential to escalate as they propagate their goals. The Indian officials stated that thousands of Chinese troops have forcefully entered the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, a part of the disputed Kashmir region. This unprecedented move has left the Indian government, busy dealing with the pandemic, shocked. Reports said that Chinese forces put up tents, dug trenches and moved heavy equipment several kilometres inside what India considers as its territory. And this has all happened in early May after India built a long road that connected a high-altitude forward airbase reactivated in 2008. This is not a routine incursion, said officials and observers in New Delhi. “The situation is serious. The Chinese have come into territory which they themselves accepted as part of India. It has completely changed the status quo,” says Ajai Shukla, Indian military expert who served as a Colonel in the Indian Army.

China, obviously, has a different perspective — it says that it was India who had changed facts on the ground. The Indian media reported that soldiers from both sides clashed at least two times in Ladakh. A total of three stand-offs have been reported — the Galwan valley, Hot Springs and Pangong Lake.

Aksai Chin
Rocky landscape which predominates the northern regions of India, namely Ladakh and Aksai-chin. Image: Shutterstock.com

Aksai Chin, a disputed border area between India and China since the 1950s, has been claimed by India as approximately 38,000 sq. km. area of Jammu Kashmir occupied by China after it constructed a road connecting Tibet and Xinjiang around 1957. This is an enormous desert of Salt Flat at about 5,000 meters above sea level. Its also is spread over about 37,244 square kilometres. This conflict was the reason behind the Indo-China war of 1962 but in 1993 and 1996, both countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control. India still claims that the Chinese-invaded area is a part of Ladakh. This large area of the Northern part of India has been occupied by the Chinese since the 1950s. It administratively is a part of the Kargil district of Xinjiang Province.

Former External Affairs Minister late Sushma Swaraj said that under the so-called China-Pakistan “Boundary Agreement” signed between China and Pakistan on March 2, 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km. of Indian territory in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to China. India says China has invaded and taken control of 38,000 sq km of its territory in Aksai Chin, while it also claims 90,000 sq km in Arunachal Pradesh.

There are several reasons why the tensions are on the rise now — competing strategic goals lie at the root, and both sides blame each other.

The traditionally peaceful Galwan River has now become a hotspot because it is where the LAC is closest to the new road India has built along the Shyok River to Daulet Beg Oldi (DBO) – the most remote and vulnerable area along the LAC in Ladakh Shukla says.

India’s choice to increase foundation appears to have maddened Beijing. Chinese state-run news source Global Times said, “The Galwan Valley region is Chinese territory, and the local border control situation was very clear.”

“According to the Chinese military, India is the one which has forced its way into the Galwan valley. So, India is changing the status quo along the LAC – that has angered the Chinese,” says Dr Long Xingchun, leader of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs (CIWA), a research organization.

Michael Kugelman, appointee executive of the Asia program at the Wilson Center, another research organization, says this go head to head isn’t normal. He includes China’s “massive deployment of soldiers is a show of strength”.

India's border disputes
The Siachen Glacier separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the “Third Pole” (Photo: shutterstock.com/Sandeep Singh Reyal)


India and Pakistan dispute — Siachen Glacier

The Siachen Glacier is situated close Indo-Pak Line of Control. The normal rise of Siachen Glacier from ocean level is roughly 17,770 feet. The Siachen Glacier is known as the most noteworthy war zone on the planet.

In the Shimla Agreement of 1972, the Siachen region was named as desolate and futile. Be that as it may, this understanding didn’t decide the limit among India and Pakistan. India got knowledge in 1984 that Pakistan has requested to set up some “hot suit” to a European organization to catch the region of Siachen Glacier. In any case, before the transfer of Pakistan suit occurred; India prepared these “hot suits” and conveyed its soldiers on “Bilafond La Pass”.

India propelled Operation Meghdoot (named after the perfect cloud ambassador in a Sanskrit play of Kalidasa) on 13 April 1984 when the “Kumaon Regiment” of the Indian Army and the “Indian Air Force” went into the Glacier. The Pakistan armed force additionally attempted to climb this spot on April 25, 1984, however, needed to return because of poor climate conditions and insufficient arrangements. At long last, on June 25, 1987, Pakistan made progress in making a post called “Quaid Post” at a height of 21 thousand feet, on the grounds that the Indian armed force had completed all its ammo.

Since India’s military had arrived at this spot first that is the reason our military is sitting at a higher height and the Pakistan armed force is sitting at lower elevation; subsequently, the Indian armed force is in instructing position in this locale.

In 2003, there was a peace negotiation settlement marked among India and Pakistan. From that point forward terminating and assault have stopped here yet the military of the two countries is positioned here. India has conveyed around 10000 fighters in the Siachen Glacier whose complete expense is around Rs 5 crores for each day.

Other than the twin military dangers from Pakistan and China, the atmosphere condition is the greatest test for the military. The temperature in Siachen icy mass in winters drops to beneath -60 degrees. There are likewise consistent dangers of torrential slides, precipices on the icy mass, fast breezes. Troopers positioned in the zone are influenced by a scope of lethal elevation related afflictions like frostbites, hypoxia, hypothermia and whiteouts.


Minor disputes

The India–Myanmar hindrance is an outskirt obstruction that India is building to seal its 1,624-kilometer (1,009 mi)- long fringe with Myanmar. India would like to abridge cross-outskirt wrongdoing, including merchandise, arms and fake cash pirating, tranquillize dealing, and uprising. The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) additionally cautioned that the area could turn into a significant travel point for illegal medications in light of the poor condition of outskirt security facilities. Indian security powers reprimanded the permeable fringe for the passings of 200 security workforce and regular folks in militancy-related viciousness in the locale in 2001-2003. Four Northeast Indian states share the outskirt with Myanmar: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur. Both national governments consented to direct a joint overview before raising the fence. The Indian Home Ministry and its Myanmar partner finished the study inside a half year and in March 2003 started raising a fence along the fringe.

Kalapani is a region under regional contest in Darchula District of Sudurpashchim Pradesh, Nepal and Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand, India, territory 400 sq km. Despite the fact that guaranteed by Nepal, Kalapani has been regulated by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police since the 1962 fringe war with China. The Treaty of Sugauli marked by the Kingdom of Nepal and British India in 1816 uses the Kali River as Nepal’s western limit with India. Resulting maps drawn by British assessors show the wellspring of the limit stream at better places. This error in finding the wellspring of the stream prompted limit questions among India and Nepal, with every nation creating maps supporting their own cases. The Kalapani River goes through a zone that incorporates a contested territory of around 400 km² around the wellspring of the stream in spite of the fact that the specific size of the contested region differs from source to source.

We do not yet know where the major disputes will lead to. Only time will tell.

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