GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Siachen and Sir Creek have long been termed “low hanging fruits” in the past for resolution between India and Pakistan and the two countries have held 13 rounds of Defence Secretary-level talks on Siachen, the last one in June 2012.
- However, there has been no resolution yet on the issue.
What is Sir Creek?
Sir Creek is a 96-km strip of water disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands.
- Originally named Ban Ganga, Sir Creek is named after a British representative.
- The Creek opens up in the Arabian Sea and roughly divides the Kutch region of Gujarat from the Sindh Province of Pakistan.
What’s the dispute?
The dispute lies in the interpretation of the maritime boundary line between Kutch and Sindh.
Before India’s independence, the provincial region was a part of the Bombay Presidency of British India. But after India’s independence in 1947, Sindh became a part of Pakistan while Kutch remained a part of India.
- Pakistan claims the entire creek as per paragraphs 9 and 10 of the Bombay Government Resolution of 1914 signed between then the Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaj of Kutch.
- The resolution, which demarcated the boundaries between the two territories, included the creek as part of Sindh, thus setting the boundary as the eastern flank of the creek popularly known as Green Line.
- But India claims that the boundary lies mid-channel as depicted in another map drawn in 1925, and implemented by the installation of mid-channel pillars back in 1924.
- In its support, it cites the Thalweg Doctrine in International Maritime Law, which states that river boundaries between two states may be divided by the mid-channel if the water-body is navigable.
What’s the importance of Sir Creek?
Apart from strategic location, Sir Creek’s core importance is fishing resources. Sir Creek is considered to be among the largest fishing grounds in Asia.
Another vital reason is the possible presence of great oil and gas concentration under the sea, which are currently unexploited thanks to the impending deadlock on the issue.
- Disputed places between India and its neighbours.
- Locations of these places and surrounding important places.
- India’s land and maritime boundary.
- Boundary pacts in this regard.
- Facts related Rann of Kutch.
- What is Bombay Government resolution of 1914?
Where is Sir Creek located? What is the dispute surrounding it? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.