India's International Borders and Associated Problems

Thursday, July 23, 2020

India shares international land borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh ,while it also has maritime boundary with Srilanka. 
International BordersLength(in Km)
Almost every border has some disputes ranging from territorial disputes to cross-border terrorism issue-

Let us discuss each in detail : - 

1. India-Pakistan Border 

About 3323 Km long boundary exists between India and Pakistan along Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. ThisHThis border is guarded primarily by Border Security Force (BSF).
There are two types of boundaries exist between India and Pakistan.

I. Radcliffe Line/International Border 

About 3323 km long, demarcated  under the leadership of Sir Cyril Radcliffe in 1947 when both the country was partitioned. This border is generally peaceful  and respected by each other. 

II. Line of Control (LoC)

This boundary line is in between PoK and Jammu and Kashmir, this is about 700 Kms long. This is one of the most disturbed international boundary in the world. This boundary was accepted by both the countries temporarily after ceasefire agreement signed on 27 July 1949. 


  • Constant ceasefire violations by Pakistan. 
  • Ceasefire violations are done to give cover up fire to militants and ISI agents infiltrating in India.
  • Pakistan promotes cross-border terrorism to India. 
  • Drug paddling through international border as well as through LoC, especially in Punjab. 
  • About 199 Kms boundary in Kachchh sector is not appropriately demarcated, hence this border also faces illegal infiltration and smuggling. 
  • Above all both country has very bitter territorial dispute over Kashmir. 

2. India-China Border

India recognises McMahon Line, proposed by Sir Henry McMahon, which was signed at Simla Convention in 1914 after an agreement signed by the then British Indian Government and Tibetan representatives. But this line is not recognised by Chinese Government. After a diplomatic interaction of 1965, Line of Actual(LaC) was recognised by both parties as the boundary for temporary control patrolling of the boundary. According to India length of India-China border is 3,488 Kms along Laddakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This border is guarded by Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).


  • The border remained peaceful till 1962, when Sino-India war lead to rise in tensions and large part of Laddakh (Aksai Chin) went to China. 
  • Despite all, this border remains generally peaceful. But in recent times many standoffs along the international border has occurred like Doklam standoff in 2017 and the recent conflict which took place in May-June 2020, proved most brutal at Galwan Valley, in Which India lost her 20 Brave soldiers on 15th June 2020. 
  • India's one of the main concern is China Pakistan Economic "Corridor (CPEC) constructing in PoK, which is a territory of India. 
  • Some part of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China also passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK) which is one of the serious concern for India.

3. India-Nepal Border 

Border between India and Nepal is about 1751 Kms along Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. This border is guarded by Sashastra Sima Bal(SSB).


India-Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950 prohibits India and Nepal from manning the border by Armed forces as it is done along Indo-Pak borders. Which created various issues like smuggling and used byfby Pakistan for infiltration of militants and ISI agents. 

  • This border remained almost peaceful. But after the formation of the new government in Nepal under KP Sharma Oli the border and territorial issues intensified as Nepal staked claim over Kalapani-Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand near Lipulekh La Pass, which was earlier no serious case of concern. 
  • In addition to above Nepalese migration to India impacted on Gorkhaland agitation and is found to intensify the conflict.

4. India-Bhutan Border

Although this is small and very peaceful border guarded by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). It encircles Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
India-Bhutan Treaty says that Bhutan will consult India on its foreign policy. 


  • Nepal and Bhutan appear to dictate terms to India at the local level by taking advantage of international attention.
  • Bhutan is used very effectively and easily by militants of ULFA and Bodo militants, which serves as a safe heaven for them. 

5. India-Myanmar 

India-Myanmar Border is found along Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. The border is guarded by Assam Rifles(AR).


  • Out of the total 1643 km border only 52 km border is manned by both the countries effectively due to difficult and hilly terrain and other issues along the border. 
  • This border is also used by insurgents from both sides to hide in each other's territory.

6. India-Bangladesh Border

The longest of the all international land Borders of India. It is also the part of Radcliffe line demarcated in 1947 when it was East Pakistan. This border touches West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram and guarded by Border Security Force (BSF).


  • After 1971 this border became problem for India as lakhs of refugees from Bangladesh crossed the border for protecting themselves from Pakistan Army's aggression. 
  • One of the main issue with Bangladesh is that about 111 enclaves of India roughly around 17000 acres is still under the control of Bangladesh and 51 enclaves roughly about 7000 acre of land is in India's Control Indians in Bangladesh want ot come to India but Bangladesh is living in India do not wish to go to Bangladesh. 
  • However about 2777.038 acres land was received by India after an agreement through which 2267.682 acres land was ceded back to Bangladesh in 2015.

7. India-Srilanka Maritime Border

From 1960s government fo India started pushing for the seafood export to foreign countries for which many subsidy schemes were started, which resulted in to dispute between India nd Srilanka over maritime water use due no demarcation of Maritime boundary.
To resolve this issue both countries signed two agreements in 1974 and 1978, which demarcated maritime boundary between both countries in Palk bay, Straight of Mannar and Bay fo bengal. But in this agreement.


  • India ceded Kachchtheevu to Srilanka which was strongly objected by Tamil Nadu government. The sovereignty of the Island is still under discussion. 
  • Despite all agreements fishermen still cross the maritime boundary and faces arrests in both sides. This all happens because no clearly visible Maritime boundary and illegal fishing activities.

Way Forward

  • India should focus on friendly neighbours with which she has no serious dispute and should the problems peacefully and due consultations.
  • With countries like Pakistan and China, India should use every diplomatic channels, international pressure groups, Economic-political measures, international organisation (UN, UNHRC, FATF etc) to counter their aggression.
  • We should man borders effectively by using modern technologies like infrared equiped cameras, unmanned drones, laser guns to check infiltration across the boundary and drug paddling activity.