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Tuesday January 28, 2020

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Porous Borders and the Extreme Security Climate of India

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Borders are a hallmark of a nation-State. The concept of borders grew out of a human urge in primitive man (and even animal instincts) for secure territorial control. It was out of this innate urge that civilisations within territorial limits and clear jurisdiction were born and flourished.

Over the millennia, nation-States and civilisations have evolved methodology to secure borders with neighbouring states through the concept of delineation (identifying the location of a mutually accepted border on maps) and demarcation (marking with border posts, barbedwire fence, etc. on the ground). This is done through the internationally accepted principles of border marking like the watershed (the crest of the local mountain range), median line in a river or waterway, or possession through custom and usage. This line is then to be protected through the deployment of border guards.

The difficulty that India faces in making its borders sacrosanct is the long length of land borders. Some like Pakistan and China are extremely inimical to India and are involved in instigating cross-border terrorism. Myanmar cooperates in maintaining pressure on insurgents operating from its side of the border in the north-east India. With Nepal, we have an open border which is being used for anti-India activities by the Pakistan Army Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). With Bangladesh, we have the largest land border and we are lucky that the current ruler Sheikh Hasina Wazed does not tolerate any anti-India activity. With Bhutan, the close rapport was demonstrated during the Doklam crisis in which China tried to browbeat the peace-loving nation to sever strategic relations with India.

It is this wide canvas of threats that this edition addresses.

Next month, DSA will be completing eight years of its existence and I promise to provide a collector’s edition to mark the occasion. Also, there will be an Air Force Special on the occasion of the Indian Air Force Day in October.

Happy reading!
Jai Hind!


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