Are you studying for an exam related to Pakistan studies? Or maybe you are just someone who wants to know more about Pakistan’s relations with its neighboring countries. Well, don’t worry. The Ling App has got you covered as we just brought you a blog post with a detailed account of the borders of Pakistan, its relations with its neighboring countries, and its native language, i.e., the Urdu language. So brace yourself because a sea of information hits you and drenches you completely. Without further ado, let’s get started!
- Pakistan’s Strategic Importance
- Borders Of Pakistan
- Wrapping Up
Pakistan’s Strategic Importance
Pakistan is a small, ethnically diverse nation in South Asia with beautiful mountain ranges like K2 and the Hindu Kush. Its central city, Karachi, is located south of the Arabian Sea coast.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, formerly a part of the Indian subcontinent, has four provinces, excluding the federally administered tribal areas, the North-west frontier province (in northern Pakistan), and the Indus river basin.
The ancient site of Mohenjo-Daro is one of the cradles of civilization, including a portion of the historic Silk Road and the renowned Khyber Pass.
Pakistan is an essential territory because of its strategic position at Central Asia and the Middle East intersection. Pakistan is home to plateaus, simple plains, and coastlines of the Arabian Sea and the K2 Mountains. One-third of the plains is touched by all of Pakistan’s territorial boundaries, while the other two-thirds are submerged under the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan has some special ties with its neighboring country, India. Four wars have been fought between Pakistan and India, three of which (1948–1949, 1965, and 1999) were fought over Kashmir. The fact that both nations have had nuclear weapons since 1998 has only heightened tensions.
Borders Of Pakistan
Pakistan, a country in South Asia, borders China and India to the North-East and East, respectively. The country’s South-Western borders are with Iran, while its North-Western borders are with Afghanistan. Pakistan’s southern border is the Arabian Sea, which has a 1,064 km-long coastline.
With Tajikistan being divided by the narrow Wakhan Corridor, Pakistan’s borders with its four neighbors, the People’s Republic of China, Afghanistan, India, and Iran, total around 7,307 kilometers (4,540.4 miles) in length (excluding the coastal areas).
The Pak-Iran border is the third-longest border in terms of length and people migration, behind only the SIno-Pak border. Pakistan’s borders with India and Afghanistan are the longest.
Before we dig deep into each part, let’s first look at the brief information about India-Pak Border.
- Names Of Borders – Directions (Length )
- Arabian Sea – South (700 KM )
- Pakistan-Afghanistan (Durand Line) – North-West (2430 KM, i.e., 1509.9 mi)
- Pakistan-China (Sino-Pakistan) – North-East (595 KM, i.e., 369.7 mi)
- Pakistan-India (Radcliffe Line) – East (2, 240 KM, i.e., 1391.9 mi)
- Pakistan-Iran (Pak-Iran Barrier) – South-West (909 KM, i.e., 564.8 mi)
- Tajikistan (Wakhan Strip) – North-West (27 KM)
- The Line of Control (LOC) – Military Control Line (740 KM, i.e., 459.8 mi)
International Border is another name for the India-Pakistan border. It extends from Jammu and Kashmir north to the crossroads where Gujarat (India) and Sindh (Pakistan) meet at the Zero Point. 3,323 kilometers make up the length of the India-Pakistan border. India also falls under the Urdu-speaking countries as many people there speak the language.
You should also know that India has over 1,50,000 bright lights mounted on roughly 50,000 poles, making the India-Pakistan border visible from the satellite at nighttime. As a result, it is regarded as one of the most perilous frontiers on the globe.
History Of The India-Pakistan Border
On August 17, 1947, the Radcliffe Line was formally recognized as Pakistan and India’s boundary. Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the head of the Indo-Pakistan Boundary Commission, created the borderline; hence it was named after him.
The length of the Pakistan-India border is close to 2,912 kilometers, and Wagah is an important location for the two nations when talking about the Indo-Pak border. Between Amritsar and Lahore, the GT (Grand Trunk) Route is the single route by which India and Pakistan are connected.
The Radcliffe line dividing India and Pakistan formed initially from the township of Wagah.
Although this line with India is not technically precise, sentiments nonetheless run hot on the two ends of the borderline. Many Indians had anticipated the previous borderline to extend to the west, with Pakistan potentially losing Lahore to India.
On the contrary, Pakistanis had anticipated the line to go significantly farther east, potentially allowing them the sovereignty of Delhi, the imperial city of the Mughal Dynasty. A sizable multitude from the two countries gathers to observe the rite known as “the lowering of the flags” in Wagah daily.
It’s crazy to think about the similarities between Urdu and Hindi, yet the two countries have failed awfully at communication and understanding each other. The governments of both countries have sold false narratives to the people, which the young generations have started noticing.
The relations between India and Pakistan have been bloody since the advent of conflict between the two countries. Many changes were made, and a fight for Kashmire was generated in Pakistan.
The Composite Dialogue Process, which included bilateral talks between representatives from several governmental levels, started in 2001. The prime ministers of India and Pakistan decided to put a halt to hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir. Both indicated a desire to start a new phase in their bilateral relations.
Things between the two countries were not as messy as they are now, thanks to PM Modi and PM Imran Khan, who do not get along. Pakistan is currently facing extreme political instability, and therefore it seems like the bilateral relations between the two countries have been put on hold, but the future can’t be anticipated.
A Show Not To Miss
Pakistani culture is quite similar to the Indian culture. Every evening at dusk on the India-Pakistan border, troops goose-step in a dramatic routine meant to symbolize the animosity between the two nations even 75 years after their independence. The show always concludes with a quick handshake between the brothers.
Excited fans start pouring into seats on both sides of the massive security gates dividing the two neighboring foes at the Attari-Wagah boundary many hours ahead of the event.
There is enough for 30,000 fans on the Pakistani side who can be heard yelling “Pakistan Zindabad” (long live Pakistan) while a group of ladies performs while the national anthem plays.
Dynamic overlords of ceremonies and loud patriotic music energize the masses as the Indian and Pakistani flag wave above the enormous pillars. The groups are so nearby that they can observe the expressions of individuals on the opposite side.
Then the troops show up, striding to the gate with their legs up, the Pakistanis sporting a dashing black while the Indians wear khaki clothes.
The vast iron gates clang loudly as the flag is tucked. Opening the gates marks the turning point. Two similarly tall Pakistani troops are standing nearby while one tall Pakistani soldier unfurls his whiskers menacingly and displays his muscles. The hoisting of the flag and a handshake mark the formal conclusion of the ceremony, known as the Beating Retreat.
The Durand Line, which stretches 2,430 kilometers between Pakistan and Afghanistan, is the two countries’ shared boundary proposed by the British in 1847. In November 1893, the border was established due to a deal between Afghanistan and the British Empire. Sir Mortimer Durand is credited with giving the Durand Line its name. The British Indian administration hired him in Afghanistan to deal with several difficulties, one of which was the boundary dispute.
Peek Into The History
It may be stated that Sir Mortimer Durand achieved the approval of this line. He persuaded Afghanistan’s Amir Abdur Rahman Khin to approve a boundary so that the Indo-Afghan border issue for the remainder of the British era could finally end.
Following their conquest of Punjab in 1849, the British acquired control of the unclear Sikh border on the west of the Indus River, creating a gap between the two home to many Pashtun tribes.
This region became problematic due to issues with governance and security. The stationary school of the British planned to withdraw to the Indus, while the forward school intended to expand to a line from Kabul via Ghazni to Qandahr and thus sought to advance to the Indus.
The advanced proponents were exposed during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–1880), and the tribal region was split into nearly equal areas of power. At the expense of many tribal conflicts, the British imposed their ability indirectly up to the Durand Line, while the Afghanis left their side intact.
The region on the two sides of the border became the focus of a Pashtun liberation movement and the creation of an autonomous nation of Pakhtunistan in the middle of the 20th century. In the vicinity of the Durand Line in 1980, roughly 7.5 million Afghans were residing and giving birth there.
The majority ethnic group in Afghanistan is Pashtun, while the majority in Pakistan is Punjabi. The border does not follow ethnic lines but follows rivers and other physical features for 85% of its length.
There are 41 million Pashtuns in the region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as Pashtunistan. The Durand Line divides the two countries into two distinct armies: the mostly Punjabi Pakistani army and the majority Pashtal Taliban.
Nearly every day, deadly clashes occur along the border between the two sides due to the lack of consideration for local ethnic groups.
Pakistan and Afghanistan government relations might improve, but the people-to-people relations seem to deteriorate beyond repair. Shortly, the situation in Afghanistan—and the ensuing relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan—is expected to worsen.
Pakistan’s northeastern region is home to the country’s almost 523-kilometer-long border with China. Between 1961 and 1965, agreements established the two nations’ boundaries. The people on the border also speak one of the most common languages of Pakistan. In 1963, Pakistan and China ratified the well-known Sino-Pakistan Agreement, also known as the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement, in which both nations agreed on their shared frontier.
In March 1963, Pakistan and China inked a demarcation treaty establishing the official border between the two countries. Due to India’s unwillingness to accept it since she also claims sovereignty over portions of the territories, this deal has been highly contentious.
Aside from this debate, the pact altered the equilibrium in the area by fostering tighter connections between Pakistan and China while also straining relations between Pakistan and the United States.
Pakistan has raised some worries since some areas of Pakistan seemed to be on Chinese maps. Ayub Khan inquired for an explanation but got no response.
In January 1962, the Chinese withdrew the maps and promised to initiate negotiations. On October 13, 1962, official talks between the two sides began. On March 2, 1963, foreign ministers from China and Pakistan signed an agreement.
The accord was of utmost significance because it resolved the border issue and helped establish cordial ties between the two nations. It was also significant in other ways since it strained Pakistan’s relations with the west and contributed to her distancing from the United States.
As I have expressed my feelings for India, the exact opposite should be said for China. Since my childhood, I have only heard one thing, Pakistan’s friendship with China is stronger than any other bond. The people consider each other like a family.
The beginning of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan was celebrated on May 22, 2021. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the benefits of this partnership and the potential for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
A collection of commemorative postage stamps featuring the Gwadar Port were also published in Islamabad to further mark the occasion. China seems to be the more experienced partner, with Pakistan following its lead in the China-India-Pakistan arc.
Since their boundary was fixed in 1964, there has been no actual conflict of interest between China and Pakistan. Along China’s western frontiers, Pakistan has likewise served as a buffer state, preventing the expansion of radical Islam.
China has a tough neighborhood comprised of large nations, some of which have shaky governments. Japan, India, and Russia all have long-term security goals that often conflict with China’s.
China’s efforts to improve ties with Pakistan go well beyond the conflict over Indian territory. As part of its Belt and Road Initiative, China is now putting Pakistan at the center of its geo-economic and geopolitical strategy.
Although local resistance to Chinese initiatives under the BRI, China has a sacred status among the political and military elites.
The 909-kilometer border between Pakistan and Iran has recently begun to be fenced to prevent unauthorized crossings between the two nations. Previously, there were only a few checkpoints along certain kilometers of the border.
The border crossing would be replaced by a cement wall that would be 10 feet tall and three feet wide. The wall building is contentious since many of the Baloch people’s private property is close to the Pakistan-Iran border, and the fence would make it difficult for them to access those fields.
All these border crossings are found in the Baloch majority provinces of Sistan & Baluchistan in Iran and Balochistan in Pakistan, where numerous families and clans are split between the two sides of the border.
After a boundary study and agreement between the two nations, the border line was ratified with minor alterations based on the British period.
Iran previously walled the border to prevent the passage of illicit drugs over the edge and the construction of walls in certain places. Pakistan will build a barrier to block the frame once it is finished.
However, two significant border crossings link the two nations: Taftan and Pishin. These boundaries are used by thousands of pilgrims every year to go to Iranian and Iraqi sacred sites. Additionally, they serve as critical commercial corridors for companies on both sides of the border.
Border Crossing At Taftan
Over $1.5 billion in commerce occurs between the two nations, and a significant portion passes via the Taftan border. The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) and customs’ daily tax collection at the Taftan crossing may reach Rs. 70 million, reflecting significant import and export economic activity.
(BP 250) Gabd-Rimdan
Located at the Makran Coastal Highway terminus, the Gabd Rimdan border crossing is presently used for commerce. Rahdari pass is only open to local residents of the Iranian district of Chabahar and the Pakistani community of Gwadar.
Since many years ago, and notably when pilgrims were assaulted near Quetta while traveling to or from the Taftan border, a planned ferry connection between Karachi and Chabahar port in Iran has also been under discussion.
Mand-Pishin Border Crossing
This Pak-Iran crossing is utilized mainly for commerce, while residents may also use it to travel between the two nations. Although the interaction is much smaller than at the Taftan border, there is still a significant trading relationship between the two nations. The locals need special permission, a “Rahdari” transit permit to cross the border.
Iran’s strategy towards Pakistan has undergone several modifications throughout time. A stable Iran-Pakistan relationship was first aided by the alignment of strategic goals made possible by the Anglo-American alliance during the Cold War.
The 1979 Iranian revolution’s anti-US stance also impacted Iran’s view on foreign policy. The Preferential Trade Agreement was signed by Iran and Pakistan in 2004. Pakistan is Iran’s eighth-largest commercial partner, and the country mostly sends grains, meat, fruits, textiles, and paper to Iran.
Bilateral commerce between Iran and Pakistan decreased from 1.32 billion USD in 2008–2009 to 432 million USD in 2010–2011. There have been recent signs that both nations intend to reaffirm their commitment to enhancing bilateral trade.
Iran has shown interest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which aims to increase commerce via better road and rail links. However, the US pressure on Pakistan continues to be the principal obstacle to bilateral interaction between Iran and Pakistan.
It is difficult for Pakistan and Iran to expand the possibilities of their interaction given the security situation in Balochistan and Pakistan’s military aid to Saudi Arabia.
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