Border Management

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  • Turan Nishant: What kind of security threats does a radicalised south Punjab in Pakistan poses to the border states of India?

    P.K. Upadhyay replies: Rising religious radicalism in Pakistan is a cause for major concern to India. For one it is not a phenomenon with purely internal security and stability implications for Pakistan. It is trans-national in its approach and character, and seeks to reach out to the Muslim communities and societies outside Pakistan as well. This could adversely affect sections of the Indian Muslims. It could accentuate sectarian differences among the Indian Muslims, destroy notions of religious pluralism and could make various sects more orthodox, doctrinaire and militant in pursuit of their wish to impose their interpretation of the faith. India's bordering areas, especially those across south Punjab of Pakistan, which cannot be totally insulated given the dictates of geography, would be the first recipients of this virus, adding to India's already considerable headache in managing border areas.

    Besides, increasing sectarian tensions and growing radicalisation could weaken the state apparatuses and even cause a breakdown in the law and order situation in Pakistan. This could make many people leave their home and hearths and seek refuge in India. How will India deal with that situation? Would it allow them easy entry into the country's bordering areas in Indian Punjab and Rajasthan with its concomitant security and social implications, or would it stop them in the no-man's land and force them to live in appalling conditions and face international opprobrium for that? It is about time that the government does its homework and be ready with possible solutions.

    Hans Raj Singh asked: What are the major problems on the Indo-Nepal border and how they can be resolved?

    Nihar Nayak replies: India-Nepal border is unique. It is an open and the most peaceful border in Asia. The present arrangement supports the sustenance of livelihood and cultural linkages of millions of people in the region. However, this asset is turning into a liability due to extra-regional countries’ design to destabilise the relationship between India and Nepal. One country is consistently instigating certain sections in Nepal by saying that open border has been responsible for the underdevelopment in Nepal. Therefore, it should be closed. Its design is to close the border to check the inflow of ‘anti-national elements’ from India. Another country takes advantage of the open border and wants to destabilise India by using the Nepal territory. For example, terrorist outfits like LeT, Indian Mujahideen and some insurgent groups from North Eastern part of India have been using the open border to provide logistical support (supply of trained cadres, fake Indian currency, and terror finance by using Nepalese banks, dispersal of small arms and explosives and narcotics) to their clandestine operations in India.

    Apart from that, there are frequent reports of misuse of open border by local criminal gangs, smuggling of subsidised consumer goods and allegations of encroachment of territory. People living in the border region of both the countries are involved in these activities.

    Remedies

    Since 98 per cent of the border is demarcated by the joint survey, both the countries should resolve the border disputes by singing on the survey report. That will avoid border encroachment disputes.

    Second, since both the countries are affected due to the misuse of open border by internal and external forces, the responsibility of border management and regulation depends on both. Although India has taken certain measures, like deployment of additional SSB personnel (presently 45,000, Nepal only 4,500), construction of integrated border check posts and capacity building programmes for the SSB, similar responses are required from Nepal.

    Last but not the least, meetings pertaining to joint border management mechanism should be organised regularly for effective border management, coordination, and to avoid any kind of misunderstanding between both the countries.

    Managing India's Land Borders: Lessons from the US Experience

    India has been grappling with the problem of devising an efficient border management strategy that would prevent the entry of dangerous elements while at the same time allowing the legitimate flow of goods, services and people. Given that it has always been vulnerable to cross-border threats and challenges such as illegal migration, drug and human trafficking, gunrunning, smuggling of commodities and cross-border terrorism, India has taken a largely unilateral approach towards border management whereby security of the borders is accorded primacy over the free movement of people and goods.

    January 2012

    Check the Downslide in India-Bangladesh Relations

    India should implement its agreements with Bangladesh in a time bound manner, fast track trans-border infrastructural developmental schemes and address the interests of the common people of Bangladesh.

    January 04, 2012

    India’s Internal Security: The Year That Was, The Year That May Be

    India’s internal security situation in 2011 was relatively better than in previous years. To ensure that 2012 also turns out to be a quiet and secure year, New Delhi not only has to consolidate the gains made in 2011 but also undertake new initiatives to address these gaps.

    December 13, 2011

    Why Replace the Assam Rifles along the Indo-Myanmar Border?

    Replacing the Assam Rifles with the BSF along the Indo-Myanmar will be a sub-optimal option to ensure security in the Northeast region.

    July 29, 2011

    Forging India’s Hard Power in the New Century

    The changing security environment calls for re-fashioning the use of hard power, which may have to be managed differently in the future.

    January 24, 2011

    Enclaves and Adverse Possessions: Time to deliver on the promise

    With a friendly dispensation in Dhaka, it is an opportune moment for India to deliver on its promise to exchange the enclaves and surrender adverse possessions.

    December 27, 2010

    India’s Border Management: Select Documents

    India’s Border Management: Select Documents
    • Publisher: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
      2010

    This book is an attempt to bring together documents and reports published by the government on border management. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the problems India faces in managing its borders and its approach towards the challenge.

    • ISBN 81-86019-68-5 ,
    • E-copy available
    2010

    India can learn from the US experience in securing its borders

    India faces risks at its borders even more severe than those faced by the United States. Indian authorities would benefit by studying the US methodologies and experience and drawing appropriate lessons.

    December 14, 2009

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