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‘Irrational’ border closure a setback to Pak-India ties: Chinese analysts

KARACHI: India’s decision to completely close its border with Pakistan is ‘irrational’ and may lead to a major setback in bilateral relations analysts say, Chinese daily Global Times reported on Tuesday.

Citing Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s earlier statement that the border between Pakistan and India would be completely sealed by December 2018, the Global Times quoted several analysts who opposed the move due to a variety of reasons.

‘Irrational decision’

“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 at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

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

‘Move complicates China-Pak-India ties’

The Times also quoted Echoing Hu, Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, as saying that the sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides.

“The country’s decision reflects its Cold War mentality, and will 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.”

“A peaceful resolution on the Kashmir disputes is in the interest of China’s homeland security, especially its western regions,” he said.

India’s new border

Rajnath’s announcement came amid escalated tensions between Pakistan and India in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations and Indian claims of a ‘surgical strike’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir ─ a claim rejected by Pakistan.

The Indian home minister had said of the border: “It is a new concept. We will be framing guidelines after getting suggestions from all stakeholders.”

Rajnath said that technology would be used to seal the border. “Like we have riverine and Sir Creek area in Gujarat, there we will make maximum use of technology for effective sealing of border.”

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