India Pakistan boundary is the result of partition in 1947 under the Radcliffe award. It starts from the marshy Rann of Kutch in Gujarat traverses through the sandy deserts of Rajasthan, fertile plains of Punjab and the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir upto the Karakoram range.
The unnatural boundary created has led to many disputes.
By the terms agreed to by India and Pakistan for the partition of the Indian subcontinent, the rulers of princely states including Jammu and Kashmir were given the right to opt for either Pakistan or India.
Hari Singh, the maharaja of Kashmir, caught up in a train of events that included a revolution among his Muslim subjects along the western borders of the state and the intervention of Pashtun tribesmen.
He signed an Instrument of Accession to the Indian union in October 1947.
This led to intervention both by Pakistan, which considered the state to be a natural extension of Pakistan, and by India, which intended to confirm the act of accession.
Three Wars and a Line of Control
Three major and bloody wars have been fought by the two countries over Kashmir since 1947.
The Indo-Pakistan War of 1947 resulted from Maharaja Hari Singh’s execution of the Instrument of Accession. The war ended in December 1948 by which time the Line of Control (LOC) was established to demarcate the administrative segments of Kashmir. The international boundary dispute was still left pending.
The war of 1965 ended after bleeding the two countries. Thousands of lives had been lost and the intervention of USA and erstwhile USSR had become necessary. India recorded a victory but the damages to both nations.
Later, in 1999, the Kargil War reopened raw wounds. Pakistani troops infiltrated the Kargil district across the LOC and assisted insurgents in the area. India retaliated and the war that ensued. The Indian army reclaimed the Tiger Hills and other strategic peaks in the Batalik.
Origin of Siachen dispute lies in the fact that both the Karachi Agreement of 1949 and the Shimla Agreement of 1972 have left the status of Indo-Pak boundary vague North of Pt NJ 9842. While the Karachi Agreement says “From Pt NJ 9842, the ceasefire line will run Northwards to the Glaciers”, Shimla Agreement does not even make a mention of it.
Pakistan point of view:
- If the alignment of Line of control just prior to NJ 9842 is extended, it will run in a North Easterly direction to Karakoram Pass.
India has altered the status of line of control by its occupation of Saltoro Ridge.
Indian point of view:
- Since the alignment of Line of Control just prior to NJ 9842 was altered by Pak by its occupation of Gyong Glacier in 1984, Pak argument of Line of control extending North Eastwards to Karakoram Pass is not tenable.
- Since the Line of Control does not extend beyond NJ 9842, Pak argument that India has altered the status of Line of Control by occupation of Saltoro Ridge is not valid either.