(By Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat)
India has announced plans to construct a wall on the LoC, which reports say will be higher and wider than the notorious Berlin and Israeli walls. The 10-metre-high wall, which will be 135-feet-wide, will be 198-kilometre-long and will be built in the Jammu sector.
The earlier section of the fencing on the LoC which has been completed comprises two 12-feet high fences that run parallel to
each other with eight-feet-wide corridor in between. The fence is flood-lit to the extent that in 2011 NASA’s earth observatory detected the “line of lights with a distinctly orange hue.” It said it was “more continuous and brighter than most highways” in India and Pakistan. It is not known how much the Indians will spend on building the wall and maintaining it. However, the amount will be considerable.
Apparently, the wall is being constructed to keep out the so-called Mujahideen or infiltrators. Singularly, building the wall is an attempt to change the status quo of the LoC, an effort to turn the Line of Control, which was delineated in 1972, into an actual border between the two countries. The wall/fence is a violation of international commitments, an endeavour to change the facts on the ground. The wall will not be impregnable if Indian officials think so. Also, heavy snowfall, avalanches and landslides have damaged the fencing along the Line of Control since it was built every year.
Several years back when India had started construction of fencing on the LoC, the then Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali had accused New Delhi of taking advantage of the 2003 ceasefire agreement to accelerate work on the fence. Senior Pakistani military officials had categorically stated that the border in Jammu and Kashmir was un-demarcated and was a working boundary and a ceasefire line. They had pointed out that border fencing on the Line of Control was not allowed under any circumstances.
According to some observers, the recent accusations of infiltration in the Keran Sector by the Indian Army were fabricated so that the LoC wall issue could be raised. The Indian media has reported: “A report filed by central as well as state security agencies about the Keran encounter have picked holes in the Indian Army’s version of the episode.
Lt Gen Gurmeet Singh, Corps Commander of Kashmir-based 15-Corps, had claimed on September 26 that they had encircled a group of 30 militants out of which 10 to 12 had been killed. However, till date no bodies were recovered. While there was no confirmation as to what led to sudden announcement of calling off of the operations on October 8, sources privy to the development said that the Udhampur-based army brass may not have been kept in the loop about the decision. Doubts were also raised about the claims made in the past by a major general in charge of Kupwara sector that some encounters had taken place as no bodies had been recovered.”
But the question is: will India be able by erecting fences of coils of razor-sharp concertina wire and having thermal imagers, night-vision devices and sensors to make the held Kashmir a part of India? The answer is simply no. Kashmir is a disputed issue between the two countries and has to be resolved on the negotiating table.
Unfortunately, the Kashmir wall has received far less attention than the Israeli wall. The purpose of both the walls is the same i.e. to legitimize the illegal occupation of land and divide the people. The Indians should keep in mind the fate of the infamous Berlin Wall, which separated the people of the same country for decades.
Courtesy: (The Daily News)