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Renu Balla asked: Is there any difference in the management of ‘International Border', ‘Line of control’ and ‘Actual Ground Position Line’?

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  • Pushpita Das replies: India shares a 3,323 km border with Pakistan. The border is divided into three parts: First is the International Border (IB), which stretches for approximately 2,400 km from Gujarat to the north banks of Chenab in Akhnoor in Jammu. Second is the Line of Control (LoC), which is 740 km long and runs from parts of Jammu to parts of Leh. It is a ceasefire line which came into existence after the 1948 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan. It was delineated in the Simla Agreement (July 1972) whereby both sides agreed not to alter it unilaterally. Third is the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), which divides the current position of Indian and Pakistani troops in the Siachen region. It is 110 km long and extends from NJ 9842 to Indira Col in the north.

    Border management involves facilitating the legitimate cross-border flow of people and trade while concurrently preventing the entry of persons or goods that pose a threat to the country or its population. Given the difference in the status of the IB, the LoC and the AGPL, there is a slight difference in the management of these three lines. The IB is a normal boundary line and has in place mechanisms to guard the border against illegal trespassing as well as to regulate the legal flow of trade and travel across it. It is guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF) and has land custom stations and immigration check posts to allow entry and exit of passengers and cargo. The administration of IB is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The LoC and AGPL are military held lines and therefore their defence is the responsibility of the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). While no movement of people is possible across the AGPL, travel and trade across the LoC were allowed from 2005 and 2008, respectively. Special permits are issued to facilitate the movement of passengers and goods across the LoC, but such movements are highly restricted both in terms of frequency and volume. The MHA is in-charge of the management of cross-LoC trade and travel.

    Posted on March 23, 2018