March 2001 News

India asked to halt fencing JK border

29 March 2001
The Indian Express

Islamabad: Pakistan asked India on Thursday to immediately halt alleged moves to put up a fence along what it called its "working boundary" with Kashmir. The foreign ministry said in a statement that it would take "All measures appropriate and necessary" to prevent India from changing the character of the boundary. India has already built a barbed-wire border fence between Punjab and Pakistan's central province of the same name. Islamabad's opposition to New Delhi's moves in the past to extend this fence to Kashmir's Jammu region, which borders the district of Sialkot in the Pakistani province of Punjab, have triggered deadly clashes between the two sides. Recent reports indicate that India is once again trying to extend the fencing, a Pakistan army source said. "The government of Pakistan calls upon the government of India to halt immediately all actions and steps being taken by it to erect a fence along the working boundary between the territory of Pakistan and the territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Indian occupation," the Foreign Ministry statement said. While a 720-km ceasefire line divides the Indian and Pakistani armies in Kashmir , Islamabad does not recognise the portion between Sialkot and Jammu as an international border and calls it a "working boundary". The Pakistani statement said, "As recognised by the United Nations, the working boundary is not an international border." This is why U.N. military observers have been posted there since February 1949 with their mandate including the investigation of incidents, it said. "The government of Pakistan reserves the right to take all measures appropriate and necessary to frustrate Indian designs to change the character of the working boundary," it said.


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