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LOC

LINE OF CONTROL:

The term Line of Control (LoC) refers to the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary, but is the de facto border.

Originally known as the Cease-fire Line, it was redesignated as the “Line of Control” following the Simla Agreement, which was signed on 3 July 1972.

The part of the former princely state that is under Indian control is known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan.

Another ceasefire line separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin. Lying further to the east, it is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

 

Pakistani Position on Jammu & Kashmir:

The Pakistan Declaration of 1933 had envisioned the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as one of the “five Northern units of India” that were to form the new nation of Pakistan, on the basis of its Muslim majority. Pakistan still claims the whole of Kashmir as its own territory, including Indian-controlled Kashmir. India has a different perspective on this interpretation.

Indian position on Jammu & Kashmir:

Maharaja Hari Singh, King of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu agreed to Governor-General Mountbatten’s suggestion to sign the Instrument of Accession India demanded accession in return for assistance. India claimed that the whole territory of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had become Indian territory (India’s official posture) due to the accession, it claims the whole region, including Azad Kashmir territory, as its own.

 

The Simla Agreement

The Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan on 2 July 1972 in Simla, the capital city of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It followed from the Bangladesh Liberation war in 1971 that led to the independence of Bangladesh, which was earlier known as East Pakistan and was part of the territory of Pakistan.

India entered the war as an ally of Bangladesh which transformed the war into an Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

The treaty was signed in Simla, India, by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the President of Pakistan, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. The agreement also paved the way for diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan

Both countries will “settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations”.

India has, many a times, maintained that Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue and must be settled through bilateral negotiations as per Simla Agreement, 1972 and thus, had denied any third party intervention even that of United Nations.

The agreement converted the cease-fire line of 17 December 1971 into the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan and it was agreed that “neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations“.

This identification of a new “cease-fire line” by both the states has been argued by India as making United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan insignificant.

As according to India, the purpose of UNMOGIP was to monitor the cease-fire line as identified in Karachi agreement of 1949 which no longer exists. However, Pakistan have a different take on this issue and both countries still host the UN mission.

 

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