- Geographically, India shares a long border with its neighbouring countries due to which border challenges have magnified constantly.
- India shares land borders with 7 countries which are China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- India has around 7000 km of coastline which is also prone to various conflicts especially in Indian Ocean region.
A Glance at border issue in Ladakh region:
- As far as India is concerned, Ladakh has always been considered as an integral part of the country but due uncertain movements after independence, certain parts of Ladakh were ceased away due to frequent invasions by Pakistan.
- After a certain period, Pakistan handed over the part of Indian territory to China (Known as Akshyachin region).
- Thus, Ladakh has always remained a weak point for Indian border management because of legal acquisition of parts of Ladakh by China and Pakistan.
- The Government of India is in constant negotiations with its neighbouring countries in order to resolve the border issues because there is no demarcated border.
- Eg: Treaty of peace and tranquility was signed between India and China to maintain peaceful and healthy relations.
- The recent brutal attack by China can be a planned intrusion into Indian side of LAC.
What are the efforts being made by India in order to be defensive against border security issues?
- Around the 20th century, there was not much infrastructure built by India to protect the border issues.
- For example, there was not much guarding and patrolling along the LOC or LAC whereas China was deploying army personnel constantly for patrolling along the LAC.
- Now, India is keen in developing infrastructure along the LAC so that it can reach upto the farthest point as possible so that there are no gaps in Indian border management.
- A separate department of Border management has been created under the Home ministry to ensure peace at borders.
- Special border security forces are deployed for defending the borders of our country. Eg: BSF.
- The Army is emphasizing on a wider extension of various areas under border management so that loopholes can be filled up.
- The Army, BRO and the other defense organizations play a vital role in containing the transgression quickly.
- Hence, India has always played a defensive role rather than being offensive in handling the border issues but at certain times India gives a gradual response.
- Eg: Though negotiations were in process, China’s aggressive intention was evident and in this scenario India had to give a gradual response by attacking them back.
Does Diplomacy help in managing the border issues effectively ?
- Generally, India believes that issues can be settled effectively by negotiations rather than going for the direct action.
- Here, the Ministry of External Affairs has a leading role to play because it conducts talks between representatives of various countries.
- The National Security Advisor also has a crucial role in managing the border issues.
- Hence, Diplomatic talks are important for peaceful management of border security.
India’s effort towards management of Coastal border:
- India’s coastal border is as crucial as the territorial border especially around the Indian Ocean because the majority of trade is carried out via Indian Ocean so India has security as well as trade concerns.
- India has always maintained its strategic and economic concerns via maintaining good relations with its neighbours specifically with littoral neighbours so that law of Sea is maintained along Indian Ocean region.
- Eg: India has developed a Tri-Service command in Andaman, Indian Navy is constantly protecting the commercial interest by indulging in Anti-piracy methods along the Malacca strait etc. which also in turn strengthens the defensive service of India.
- India has always tried to maintain the issues bilaterally instead of indulging various countries into it but certain countries with super powers should exert moral influence in order to protect India from harmful activities such as terrorism etc.
- As far as India- China relations are concerned, both the sides should stick to their territorial limit of LAC in order to de-escalate the situation peacefully.
- Border talks should come to a conclusion as soon as possible so that LAC can act as an international border between both the countries.
Hence, instead of going for an offensive solution we can try to manage the border issues by peaceful negotiations and proper demarcation of territorial limits along the disputed land or territories.