Border closure will hit India-Pakistan ties: Chinese daily

Border closure will hit India-Pakistan ties: Chinese daily

Beijing, Oct 11 (IANS) India’s decision to seal its border with Pakistan by 2018 is “irrational” and will lead to a major setback in bilateral ties with Islamabad, a Chinese daily on Tuesday quoted analysts as saying.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday announced that the 3,323-km border between India and Pakistan would be “completely” sealed by December 2018.

The announcement came amid heightened tensions after a terrorist attack on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir and a later Indian surgical strike in Pakistani territory.

“India is making a very irrational decision, since no exhaustive investigation has been conducted after the Uri incident, and no evidence proves Pakistan is behind the attack,” Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow from the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Hu added that a “completely sealed” border would further hinder the already scarce border trade and talks between the two countries.

Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies, told the Global Times that the sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides.

“(India’s) decision reflects its Cold War mentality and would only cause deeper hatred among residents living in Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir,” said Hu.

Since Pakistan is China’s all-weather strategic partner, India’s decision would make China-Pakistan-India relations more complicated, Hu noted.

He added that a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute was in the interest of China’s homeland security too, especially its western regions.

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