The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a heaven country for terrorist and best friend of Communist country China. It is located in the north-west of the South Asian subcontinent and has an area of 880,000 square kilometres under actual control, with more than 95 per cent muslims. To the east and India, the Karakoram Mountains to the northeast are bordered by China, the north-west is bordered by Afghanistan, and the western neighbor is Iran, with four land-based neighbors. The coast of the Arabian Sea in the south is 980 km long . It is the world’s fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million.
Pakistan was independent from the British Empire in June 1947. At the time of independence, East Pakistan (Bangladesh) was also part of Pakistan’s territory, and later, in 1971 war Pakistan lost war against India and Bangladesh declared independence by India.
Pakistan’s neighbors, though small, are disputed for historical and religious reasons, with the exception of the china-Pakistan border, which has not reached any permanent agreement.
The border between India & Pakistan
The India-Pakistan relationship, since the creation of both the nations in 1947 has been rocky, where the nations have been involved in four wars. Kashmir has been the bedrock issue between both the nations and has been an unresolved boundary dispute. Terrorism, particularly targeting India which is bred on Pakistani soil is yet another major issue which has mired the relationship.
Despite many positive initiatives taken, the India-Pakistan relationship in recent times has reached an all-time low with some sore issues sticking out.
Terrorism and Kashmir – The never-ending issues
- Cross border terrorism has always been an issue.
- Some analysts go to the extent of saying that both nations are always in a perpetual state of war.
- Despite the fact the after the Kargil conflict, there was a Ceasefire Agreement signed in 2003, there have been regular cross border ceasefire violations from the Pakistan side of the border with the trend being as such that since 2009 onwards, there has been a rise in the violations (with the exception of 2014). It has killed and injured security forces as well as civilians on both sides.
- With the regime change in India, there has been a different approach to the violations. With the hardline policy of the new government, there has been massive retaliation to the unprovoked firing.
- Thus, out of desperation, there has been a rise in the number of infiltrations of terrorists from across the Line of Control (LOC), which has been routine for quite a while now.
- With the void in between the Kashmiri people and the establishment increasing after the devastating floods of 2014, there was rising discontent again in the valley. The trigger to the events was the killing of the militant commander of the terrorist organization Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Burhan Wani, which led to widespread protests in the valley and the situation has been highly volatile ever since with almost daily scenes of protests and stone pelting in the valley.
- Pakistan has taken advantage of the situation and has fuelled the protests by providing the elements fighting against the Indian establishment and Forces in the state with all sorts of possible support. The PM of Pakistan, in fact, went a step ahead and during the United Nations General Assembly meeting of 2016, declared Wani as a martyr and the struggle of the people of Kashmir as an Intifada.
- This is in sync with the stand Pakistan holds on Kashmir i.e., to internationalize the issue of Kashmir and asking for holding a plebiscite in Kashmir under Indian administration to decide the fate of Kashmiri people. The stand has been rejected by India as it says it is in direct violation of the Shimla Agreement of 1972, which clearly mentions that peaceful resolution to all issues will be through bilateral approach.
- After the attack at the Pathankot base in 2016 January, there was again a thaw in the relationship, especially when seen in the context that the Indian PM paid an unscheduled visit to Pakistan to meet his Pakistani counterpart. With Kashmir already on the boil and Pakistan adding fuel to fire to the situation, the attack on Uri Army camp in September 2016 in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed made the Indian PM declare the statement that ‘talks and terrorism’ cannot go hand in hand.
- This was followed by surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army across the LOC targeting the terror infrastructure in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). They were carried out at the end of September.
- In a first, India tinkered with the Indus Water Treaty, a Treaty which has stood the test of time and the bitter sour relationship for more than 55 years and was pondering with the fact to fully exploit the water potential of the West flowing rivers over which Pakistan has control.
- Thus, the fact trickles down to the point that India has its stand that until Pakistan doesn’t do enough to tackle the terrorism menace, there can be no talks held in between the nations.
- On the other hand, Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India but it wants the inclusion and discussion of the Kashmir issue which it keeps raking up every time.
The border between Pakistan and China
Even pakistan have border issues with their so called friend china .
The Sino-Pakistan Agreement (also known as the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement and Sino-Pak Boundary Agreement) is a 1963 document between the governments of Pakistan and China establishing the border between those countries.
The agreement is not recognized as legal by India, which also claims sovereignty over part of the land. In addition to increasing tensions with India, the agreement shifted the balance of the Cold War by bringing Pakistan and China closer together while loosening ties between Pakistan and the United States.
In 1959, Pakistan became concerned that Chinese maps showed areas of land under Pakistani control in China. In 1961, Ayub Khan sent a formal Note to China.
After Pakistan voted to grant the PRC a seat in the United Nations, the PRC withdrew the disputed maps in January 1962, agreeing to enter border talks in March. The willingness of the Chinese to enter the agreement was welcomed by the people of Pakistan. Negotiations between the nations officially began on October 13, 1962 and resulted in an agreement being signed on 2 March 1963. It was signed by foreign ministers Chen Yi for the Chinese and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for the Pakistani.
The agreement resulted in China and Pakistan each withdrawing from about 1,900 square kilometres (750 square miles) of territory, and a boundary on the basis of the 1899 British Note to China as modified by Lord Curzon in 1905. Indian writers have insisted that in this transaction, Pakistan surrendered 5,300 km2 (2,050 sq mi) of territory to China (to which they believe it had no right in the first place). In fact, if anything, Pakistan gained a bit of territory, around 52 km2 (20 sq mi), south of the Khunjerab Pass. The ‘claim’ supposedly given up by Pakistan was the area north of the Uprang Jilga River which also included the Raksam Plots where the Mir of Hunza had enjoyed taxing and grazing rights throughout much of the late 19th Century as part of agreements with Chinese authorities in Sinkiang. Despite this, sovereignty over area was never challenged by the Mir of Hunza, the British or the State of Jammu and Kashmir
The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan have the largest territorial disputes, and Afghanistan has argued for almost 80 per cent of Pakistan’s territory. What’s the reason for this?
Simply put, Afghanistan has not been a landlocked country in recent history. At that time, Britain and Russia competed in Central Asia, and the result was that the Wahan Corridor (present-day Afghanistan) on china’s Pamir Plateau was bounded, Russian territory in the north, British territory in the south and “independence” in Afghanistan.
This division has cost Afghanistan a lot of territory and become today’s “poor and white” landlocked mountain country. This has to refer to the “Durand Line” set out in the Durand Agreement (actually a one-sided proposal by the British Government) signed in November 1893. The southern border line in Afghanistan was unilaterally drawn by the United Kingdom and forced Afghanistan to accept, the “Durand Line”.
This border line, which draws the border between Afghanistan and the British colonies of India, and Afghanistan lost sovereignty over Swat, Bajar and Chitral, making millions of Pashtuns subjects to British India. A nation is divided in two. The pashtunistan problem was born.
But the validity of the Agreement, the Durand Agreement, has been controversial, with the vast majority of successive Afghan governments not recognizing it.
The Pashtuns have been fighting since the agreement was signed. The Pashto uprising of 1897 dealt a heavy blow to British colonial rule.
After the second world war, after Britain’s withdrawal from South Asia, Afghanistan decided that the agreement was one-sided by the British, so it was illegal and invalid, and now Britain itself does not want the territory, and it is natural to return it to Afghanistan. So when Pakistan joined the United Nations in 1947, Afghanistan voted against it. Because Afghanistan believes that 80 per cent of Pakistan’s territory is Afghan and is not eligible to join the United Nations.
But Afghanistan’s demand has not been supported by the international community.
The border between Pakistan and Iran.
After World War II, Pakistan’s relations with Iran, both politically and economically, were possible, and even in the nuclear sector, there was long-term cooperation. But there are contradictions because of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan, relations with Saudi Arabia, and differences in religious affiliations. There are, of course, some territorial differences.
The territorial disputes between Iran and Pakistan are concentrated in Baluchistan. For historical reasons, Balochs live on the Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian borders and speak the Eastern Iranian language. Balochs are the fourth largest ethnic group in Pakistan, with more than 4 million people living in the country.
After gaining Indian rule, Britain continued to expand in Asia, with the British sharing 50 per cent of the land in the western Balochistan region. So the Baluchistans’ close relatives, the Iranians, are very unhappy about this. There has been disagreement over the demarcation of the Balochistan border.
Because of the same ethnic group on both sides of the border, Baloch separatists often cross the border easily, and both Pakistan and Iran face the threat of Baloch separatism, so Iran is often unhappy with the “poorly defended” Pakistan.
Pakistan has also also frequently cracked down on Baluchi separatists, sometimes across the border, which Iran sees as a violation of sovereignty that is intolerable.
Ninety percent of Iran’s population is Shiite Muslim, while pakistan’s 80 percent population is Sunni, and the two sects have long been at odds. And Pakistan is an ally of Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim-majority Arab state, which is one of Pakistan’s gold lords, but saudi Arabia and Iran are hostile
In the face of the attitude of its common neighbour, Afghanistan, there is a side of cooperation and serious differences. In the fight against the Soviet invasion, the two sides had similar interests. But the two positions are very different for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Of course, there is an close relation between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban and other terrorist org. , which is privately running , and Iran does not like the Taliban. This is also one of the root causes of the contradiction.