‘Irrational’ border closure a setback to India-Pakistan ties

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/11 0:23:40

India's decision to completely close its border with Pakistan is "irrational" and would lead to a major setback in bilateral relations, Chinese analysts said.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the 3,323-kilometer-long border between the two countries would be "completely" sealed by December 2018, The Hindu reported.

 Singh added India will create a border security grid, with guidelines to be framed with inputs from all stakeholders along the border, the report said.

The Home Minister's statements came in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations allegedly made by Pakistan and heightened tensions, particularly in the aftermath of a terror attack on an army base in Indian-controlled Kashmir's Uri sector last month, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

"India is making a very irrational decision, since no exhaustive investigation has been conducted after the Uri incident, and no evidence proves Pakistan is behind the attack," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow from the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

Hu added that a "completely sealed" border would further hinder the already scarce border trade and talks between the two countries.

Echoing Hu, Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that the sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides.

"The country's decision reflects its Cold War mentality, and would only cause deeper hatred among residents living in Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir," said Hu.

Since Pakistan is China's all-weather strategic partner, India's decision would make China-Pakistan-India relations more complicated, Hu noted.

He added a peaceful resolution on the Kashmir disputes is in the interest of China's homeland security, especially its western regions.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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