Border Management

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  • Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    Internal Security Priorities for the New Government: Institutional Reforms

    The IDSA policy brief looks into the complexity of internal security challenges and how best to deal with it. The brief suggests building a Centre-State synergy to cope with contemporary trends like increasing urbanization, growth of mega cities, demographic shift, rising expectations of the youth and social media.

    May 19, 2014

    Rahul Bhuria asked: What are the provisions of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and China and what is China’s ‘neighborhood diplomacy’?

    Rup Narayan Das replies: The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) is the latest round of Confidence Building Measure (CBM) signed in October 2013 between India and China. There has been a slew of CBMs between the two countries that started in September 1993 with the signing of the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border, which was followed up in 1996, 2005 and in 2012. The thrust of the latest CBM – BDCA - is to, as the very name suggests, prevent occurrence of border incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is not clearly defined or demarcated. This at times leads to overlapping claims. The CBMs provide both procedural and institutional mechanisms like the border personnel meetings and the flag meetings between the defence personnel of the two countries to address such overlapping claims and amicably resolve such issues. This is, however, no substitute for the border dispute settlement for which the two countries have the Special Representatives Talks. The BDCA while reiterating provisions of most of the earlier CBMs provides for certain additional mechanisms. The most significant Article in the BDCA is Article VI which stipulates that the two sides shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the LAC.

    China’s ‘Neighbourhood Diplomacy’, by Chinese accounts, means maintaining a peaceful and stable environment in its neighbourhood and to integrate China’s development with the development of the neighbouring countries.

    Posted on April 30. 2014

    Army's Ingenious Frontier Diplomacy

    To reshape public confidence further, the Union Home Ministry should quickly address the long festering issue of redeploying at least one regiment of the sashastra seema bal (SSB) in Ladakh. Initially raised as Special Service Bureau in the 1960s, SSB effectively involved natives for building a second line of defence against adversaries.

    February 05, 2014

    Internal Security Trends in 2013 and a Prognosis

    The internal security situation in India reflected a marked improvement in 2012-2013 relative to previous years. This Issue Brief offers an assessment of the major trends in 2013 for Jammu and Kashmir, the land borders of India, Naxalism, the Northeast, terrorism and radicalism in India. It also offers a prognosis for the year ahead.

    January 24, 2014

    Border Defence Cooperation Agreement: The Icebreaker in Making?

    The long expected Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation (BDCA) was signed between the governments of India and China on 23 October 2013 in Beijing, during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to the People’s Republic of China. The draft of the agreement had been through close-door negotiations by both the governments for about a year prior to its signing. Incidentally, it was also during these negotiations that a three week long face-to-face incident occurred—in April-May 2013—at Depsang located in the Aksai Chin region which is disputed between India and China.

    January 2014

    Chinese intrusions across the LAC

    China’s border intrusions have been bolstered by a steady and committed expansion of its military hardware and infrastructure in Tibet and neighbouring provinces. The improvement of surface transportation near the LAC has resulted in larger military presence and augmented rapid deployment capacities of the PLA and the PLAAF.

    December 17, 2013

    Krishnadev Asked: Why does India have an open border with Nepal?

    Pushpita Das replies: The seeds of an ‘open’ border between India and Nepal can be found in the Treaty of Peace and Friendship which the two countries signed in 1950. Articles VI and VII of the Treaty specify that citizens of both countries have equal rights in matters of residence, acquisition of property, and employment and movement in each other’s territory; thus, providing for an open border between the two countries. These provisions allowed the citizens of India and Nepal to cross their shared borders without passport and visa restrictions.

    In fact, the practice of keeping the borders with Nepal open is a British legacy which was continued by India after the independence. During the colonial times, the British required Gorkhas for their army and the Nepalese market for their finished goods. These requirements necessitated unrestricted cross-border movement of both goods and people. In addition, the rise of an assertive China and the absence of any physical barrier between India and Nepal compelled India to define the Himalayas, lying north of Nepal, as its northern barrier with China. Thus, the open border between India and Nepal not only addressed the mutual security concerns, but also fostered close socio-economic relations between the two countries.

    The unrestricted flow of people over the years has resulted in the dissemination of ideas, culture, and settlements of people in each other’s territory, thereby, strengthening the bilateral social and cultural relations. The open border also has had a favourable impact on the two economies. Nepal is a landlocked country and its closest access to the sea is through India. As a result, most of its imports pass through India. As for India, it is the biggest trading partner of Nepal. An open border has also allowed many Nepalese citizens to find employment in India and Indians to open business ventures in Nepal.

    India-Myanmar Border Problems: Fencing not the only solution

    In addition to building a 10-km fence along its border with Myanmar, India should strengthen the security of the border by deploying adequate guarding forces, revise the FMR and constructively engage with Myanmar to prevent the cross-border movement of insurgents and traffickers.

    November 15, 2013

    BDCA with China and its Implications for India

    The new architecture admittedly is a rehash of previously signed (1993, 1996, 2005 and 2012) de-escalatory measures. Most of the Clauses outline mechanisms for exchanging information, consultations about military activities and enhancing communications between border personnel and headquarters.

    October 29, 2013

    Need to effectively manage the India-Nepal Border

    Transforming the India-Nepal border from an ‘open border’ to a ‘closed border’ would severely damage the traditional socio-cultural and economic ties. It would be prudent to keep the border open but manage it more effectively through mutual cooperation.

    September 19, 2013