The term Line of Control (LoC) refers to the military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the former princely state 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. The northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842. The India–Pakistan border continues from the southernmost point on the LoC.
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).
The Line of Control divided Kashmir into two parts and closed the Jehlum valley route, the only entrance and exit of the Kashmir Valley at that time. This territorial division, which to this day still exists, severed many villages and separated family members from each other.
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.
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 and Gilgit–Baltistan territory, as its own.
The Indian Line of Control fencing is a 550 km (340 mi) barrier along the 740 km (460 mi) disputed 1972 Line of Control (or ceasefire line). The fence, constructed by India, generally remains about 150 yards on the Indian-controlled side. Its stated purpose is to exclude arms smuggling and infiltration by Pakistani-based separatist militants.
The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as "fast alert signals" to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.
The construction of the barrier was begun in the 1990s, but slowed in the early 2000s as hostilities between India and Pakistan increased. After a November 2003 ceasefire agreement, building resumed and was completed in late 2004. LoC fencing was completed in Kashmir Valley and Jammu region on 30 September 2004. According to Indian military sources, the fence has reduced the numbers of militants who routinely cross into the Indian side of the disputed state to attack soldiers by 80%.
Pakistan has criticised the construction of the barrier, saying it violates both bilateral accords and relevant United Nations resolutions on the region. The European Union has supported India's stand calling the fencing as "improvement in technical means to control terrorists infiltration" and also pointing that the "Line of Control has been delineated in accordance with the 1972 Shimla agreement".
There are three main crossing points on the LoC currently operational. These are, from north to south:
Salamabad crossing point is located on the road between Chakothi and Uri in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Indo-Pak LoC. It is a major route for cross LoC trade and travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side. The name in English translates to "bridge of peace" is located in Uri. The bridge was rebuilt by Indian army after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake when a mountain on the Pakistani side had caved in. This route was opened for trade in 2008 after a period of 61 years. The Srinagar–Muzaffarabad Bus passes through this bridge on the LoC.
A road connects Kotli and Tatrinote in Pakistan side of the LoC to Indian Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir through Chakan Da Bagh crossing point. It is a major route for cross LoC trade and travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side for the benefit of traders.
The flag meetings between Indian and Pakistani security forces are held here. These meetings are held at the border or on the Line of Control by commanders of the armys of both sides. A flag meeting can also be held at the brigadier level on smaller issues. If the meeting is on a larger context, it could be held at the general level.
The Teetwal crossing is across the Neelum River between Muzaffarabad and Kupwara. It is usually open only during the summer months, and in contrast to the other two crossings is open only for the movement of people, not for trade.
The 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff was a military standoff between India and Pakistan that resulted in the massing of troops on either side of the border and along the Line of Control (LoC) in the region of Kashmir. This was the second major military standoff between India and Pakistan following the successful detonation of nuclear devices by both countries in 1998, with the first being the Kargil War of 1999.
The military buildup was initiated by India responding to a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001 (during which twelve people, including the five terrorists who attacked the building, were killed) and the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on 1 October 2001. India claimed that the attacks were carried out by two Pakistan-based terror groups fighting Indian administered Kashmir, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, both of whom India has said are backed by Pakistan's ISI–a charge that Pakistan denied.In Western media, coverage of the standoff focused on the possibility of a nuclear war between the two countries and the implications of the potential conflict on the American-led "Global War on Terrorism" in nearby Afghanistan. Tensions de-escalated following international diplomatic mediation which resulted in the October 2002 withdrawal of Indian and Pakistani troops from the international border.2011 India–Pakistan border skirmish
The 2011 India–Pakistan border skirmish was a series of incidents which took place during the months of July and August 2011 across the Line of Control in Kupwara District and Neelam Valley. Both countries gave different accounts of the incident, each accusing the other of initiating the hostilities.2013 India–Pakistan border skirmishes
The 2013 India–Pakistan border incidents was a series of armed skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir area. Starting from the mid-January 2013, they have been described as the "worst bout of fighting in the region in nearly 10 years". It began on 6 January 2013, when according to Pakistani reports Indian forces attacked a Pakistani border post, killing one soldier. Indian authorities claimed the incident as a retaliation against preceding Pakistani ceasefire violations, but denied having crossed the demarcation line. In a second skirmish on 8 January, Indian authorities said that Pakistani forces crossed the LoC, killing two Indian soldiers. The incident sparked outrage in India and harsh reactions by the Indian army and government over the news that the body of one of the soldiers had been beheaded. Pakistan denied these reports. On 15 January, a third skirmish reportedly led to the death of another Pakistani soldier.After talks between Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia and Major General Ashfaq Nadeem, an understanding was reached to de-escalate the situation. But the skirmishes continued despite peace efforts by the countries resulting in 8 Indian casualties in total and 9 Pakistani casualties till August. Civilians were also affected adversely by the border skirmishes.
On 9 October 2014 Indian media claimed that a total of 9 military personal and 6 civilians were killed on Pakistani side. 12 Indian soldiers and 1 civilian were killed on Indian side2016 Indian Line of Control strike
On 29 September 2016, India announced that it conducted "surgical strikes" against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and inflicted "significant casualties". Indian media reported the casualty figures variously from 35 to 70. Partial footage of the strikes was released to the Indian media on 27 June 2018 as proof to the strike.Pakistan rejected this claim, stating that Indian troops did not cross the Line of Control and had only skirmished with Pakistani troops at the border, resulting in the deaths of two Pakistani soldiers and nine wounded. Pakistan rejected India's reports of any other casualties. Pakistani sources reported that at least 8 Indian soldiers were killed in the exchange, and one was captured. India confirmed that one of its soldiers was in Pakistani custody, but denied that it was linked to the incident or that any of its soldiers had been killed. Pakistan said India was hiding its casualties.Media outlets noted that the details regarding the "attack" were still unclear. Earlier that month, four militants had attacked the Indian army at Uri on 18 September in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and killed 19 soldiers. India's announcement of the claimed raid on 29 September marked the first time that the government had publicly acknowledged its forces crossing the Line of Control, amidst skepticism and disputing accounts. In the succeeding days and months, India and Pakistan continued to exchange fires along the border in Kashmir, resulting in dozens of military and civilian casualties on both the sides.2019 Balakot airstrike
The 2019 Balakot airstrike was conducted by India in the early morning hours of February 26 when Indian warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir, and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.Pakistan's military, the first to announce the airstrike on February 26 morning, described the Indian planes as dropping their payload in an uninhabited wooded hilltop area near Balakot.India, confirming the airstrike later the same day, characterized it to be a preemptive strike directed against a terrorist training camp, and causing the deaths of a "large number" of terrorists.The following day, February 27, in a tit-for-tat airstrike, Pakistan retaliated, causing an Indian warplane to be shot down and its pilot to be taken prisoner by the Pakistan military before being returned on March 1.Analysis of open-source satellite imagery by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Laboratory, San Francisco-based Planet Labs, European Space Imaging, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, has concluded that India did not hit any targets of significance on the Jaba hilltop site in the vicinity of Balakot.On 10 April 2019, some international journalists, who were taken to the Jaba hilltop in a tightly controlled trip arranged by Pakistani government, found the largest building of the site to show no evidence of damage or recent rebuilding.The airstrikes were the first time since the India-Pakistan war of 1971 that warplanes of either country crossed the Line of Control and also since both states have become nuclear powers.Azad Kashmir
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Urdu: آزاد جموں و کشمیر Āzād Jammū̃ o Kaśmīr, translation: Free Jammu and Kashmir), abbreviated as AJK and commonly known as Azad Kashmir, is a nominally self-governing jurisdiction administered by Pakistan. The territory lies west of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, and was part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad Kashmir is part of the greater Kashmir region, which is the subject of a long-running conflict between Pakistan and India. The territory shares a border with Gilgit-Baltistan, together with which it is referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as "Pakistan administered Kashmir".
Azad Kashmir is one-sixth of the size of Gilgit-Baltistan. The territory also borders Pakistan's Punjab province to the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west. To the east, Azad Kashmir is separated from the state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan. Azad Kashmir has a total area of 13,297 square kilometres (5,134 sq mi), and a total population of 4,045,366 as per the 2017 Census.
The territory has a parliamentary form of government modeled after the Westminster system, with its capital located at Muzaffarabad. The President is the constitutional head of state, while the Prime Minister, supported by a Council of Ministers, is the chief executive. The unicameral Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly elects both the Prime Minister and President. The state has its own Supreme Court and a High Court, while the Government of Pakistan's Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a link with Azad Kashmir's government, although Azad Kashmir is not represented in the Parliament of Pakistan.
The 2005 earthquake killed 100,000 people and left another three million people displaced, with widespread devastation. Since then, with help from the Government of Pakistan and foreign donors, reconstruction of infrastructure is underway. Azad Kashmir's economy largely depends on agriculture, services, tourism, and remittances sent by members of the British Mirpuri community. Nearly 87% of the households own farms in Azad Kashmir, while the region has a literacy rate of approximately 72% and has the highest school enrollment in Pakistan.India–Pakistan border
The India–Pakistan Border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is an international border running between India and Pakistan that demarcates the Indian states and the Pakistani four provinces. The border runs from the Line of Control (LoC), which separates Indian-controlled Kashmir from Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, in the north, to the Zero Point between the Indian state of Gujarat and the Sindh province of Pakistan, in the south.Drafted and created based upon the Radcliffe line in 1947, the border, which divides Pakistan and India from each other, traverses a variety of terrains ranging from major urban areas to inhospitable deserts. Since the independence of India and Pakistan (see British India), the border has been a site of numerous conflicts and wars between each country, and is one of the most complex borders in the world. The border's total length is 3,323 km (2,065 mi), according to the figures given by the PBS; it is also one of the most dangerous borders in the world, based on an article written in the Foreign Policy in 2011. It can be seen from space at night due to the 150,000 flood lights installed by India on about 50 thousand poles.India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2016–2018)
On 29 September 2016, border skirmishes between India and Pakistan began following reported "surgical strikes" by India against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistani-administered Azad Kashmir.Pakistan rejected that a strike took place, stating that Indian troops had not crossed the Line of Control but had only skirmished with Pakistani troops at the border, resulting in the deaths of two Pakistani soldiers and the wounding of nine. Pakistan rejected India's reports of any other casualties. Pakistani sources reported that at least 8 Indian soldiers were killed in the exchange, and one was captured. India confirmed that one of its soldiers was in Pakistani custody, but denied that it was linked to the incident or that any of its soldiers had been killed.The Indian operation was said to be in retaliation for a militant attack on the Indian army at Uri on 18 September in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir that left 19 soldiers dead. In the succeeding days and months, India and Pakistan continued to exchange fire along the border in Kashmir, resulting in dozens of military and civilian casualties on both sides.India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2019)
India and Pakistan have engaged in a military confrontation across the de facto border in Kashmir, a disputed region which is claimed by both countries and large parts of which are controlled by each country.The heightened tensions stemmed from a suicide car bombing carried out on 14 February 2019 in which 40 Indian security personnel were killed. A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, claimed responsibility for the attack. India blamed Pakistan for the bombing and promised a robust response. India has regularly accused Pakistan of utilising militants to destabilise Indian-administered Kashmir. Pakistan, however, denied any involvement in the bombing.Some twelve days later, India and Pakistan conducted airstrikes against targets in each other's territory.The first airstrike was conducted by India in the early morning hours of February 26 in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, several miles inside the province's boundary with Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Pakistan's military, the first to announce the airstrike on February 26 morning, described the Indian planes as dropping their payload in an uninhabited wooded hilltop area near Balakot. India, confirming the airstrike later the same day, characterised it to be a preemptive strike directed against a terrorist training camp, and causing the deaths of a "large number" of terrorists.The second airstrike, a retaliatory one, was conducted during daytime on February 27 by Pakistan in a region of Indian-administered Kashmir. A dogfight during this airstrike caused an Indian MiG-21 Bison warplane to be shot down and its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, to be taken prisoner by the Pakistan military before being returned on March 1.Analysis of open-source satellite imagery by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Laboratory, San Francisco-based Planet Labs, European Space Imaging, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, has concluded that India did not hit any targets of significance on the Jaba hilltop site in the vicinity of Balakot.On April 10, 2019, some international journalists, who were taken to the Jaba hilltop in a tightly controlled trip arranged by Pakistani government, found the largest building of the site to show no evidence of damage or recent rebuilding.The fighting continued into April 2019.Kargil
Kargil is a town in the Kargil district of Ladakh region, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the second largest town in Ladakh after Leh. It is located 60 km and 204 km from Drass and Srinagar to the west respectively, 234 km from Leh to the east, 240 km from Padum to the southeast and 1,047 km from Delhi to the south.Kashmir Valley
The Kashmir Valley, also known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley in the portion of the Kashmir region administered by India. The valley is bounded on the southwest by the Pir Panjal Range and on the northeast by the main Himalayas range. It is approximately 135 km long and 32 km wide, and drained by the Jhelum River.Kashmir division is one of the three administrative divisions of the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir division borders Jammu Division to the south and Ladakh to the east while Line of Control forms its northern and the western border. The division consists of the following districts: Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar.Line of Actual Control
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, formed after the 1962 war.There are two common ways in which the term "Line of Actual Control" is used. In the narrow sense, it refers only to the line of control in the western sector of the borderland between the two countries. In that sense, the LAC forms the effective border between the two countries, together with the (also disputed) McMahon Line in the east and a small undisputed section in between. In the wider sense, it can be used to refer to both the western line of control and the MacMahon Line, in which sense it is the effective border between India and the People's Republic of China (PRC).Murovdag
The Murovdağ (also spelled as Murovdagh, Azerbaijani: Murovdağ) or Mrav (Armenian: Մռավի լեռնաշղթա - Mravi Lernash'ghta) is the highest mountain range in the Lesser Caucasus. The range is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) long, and Gamish Mountain is its highest peak at 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). It is made up mainly of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene rocks.The Murovdağ ridge extends north from Hinaldag Peak through Gamish (or Gomshasar) Mountain. The northeastern slope features a group of scenic lakes, including Göygöl near the northern slope. The Karabakh Plateau extends from the south of Murovdağ. Fir and spruce forests are spread as far southeast as the Murovdağ. The summer mountain pastures of Murovdağ were traditionally used by Azerbaijani and Armenian shepherds.
The mountain ridge forms the northern part of the line of control separating the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from Azerbaijan. Its southern slopes run through the Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh.Neelum River
The Neelum River (Hindi: नीलम नदी, Urdu: دریائے نیلم), or Kishanganga (Hindi: कृष्णगंगा नदी, Urdu: کرشن گنگا ندی), is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan; it starts in the Indian city of Gurais and then merges with the Jhelum River near the Pakistani city of Muzaffarabad.Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas at about 35.421226°N 77.109540°E / 35.421226; 77.109540, just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. At 76 km (47 mi) long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world's non-polar areas. It falls from an altitude of 5,753 m (18,875 ft) above sea level at its head at Indira Col on the China border down to 3,620 m (11,875 ft) at its terminus. The entire Siachen Glacier, with all major passes, is currently under the administration of India since 1984. Pakistan controls the region west of Saltoro Ridge, far away from the glacier, with Pakistani posts located 3,000 ft below more than 100 Indian posts on Saltoro Ridge.The Siachen Glacier lies immediately south of the great drainage divide that separates the Eurasian Plate from the Indian subcontinent in the extensively glaciated portion of the Karakoram sometimes called the "Third Pole". The glacier lies between the Saltoro Ridge immediately to the west and the main Karakoram range to the east. The Saltoro Ridge originates in the north from the Sia Kangri peak on the China border in the Karakoram range. The crest of the Saltoro Ridge's altitudes range from 5,450 to 7,720 m (17,880 to 25,330 feet). The major passes on this ridge are, from north to south, Sia La at 5,589 m (18,336 ft), Bilafond La at 5,450 m (17,880 ft), and Gyong La at 5,689 m (18,665 ft). The average winter snowfall is more than 1000 cm (35 ft) and temperatures can dip to −50 °C (−58 °F). Including all tributary glaciers, the Siachen Glacier system covers about 700 km2 (270 sq mi).Uri, Jammu and Kashmir
Uri is a town and a tehsil in the Baramulla district, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Uri is located on the left bank of the Jhelum River, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the Line of Control with Pakistan.Vijayanta
The Vijayanta (en: "Victorious") was a main battle tank built in India based on a licensed design of the Vickers Mk.1. The Vijayanta was the first indigenous tank of the Indian Army. The prototype was completed in 1963 and the tank entered service in 1965. The first 90 vehicles were built by Vickers in the UK. Production continued at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi until 1983 with 2,200 being built (other sources give much lower numbers: 1,600-1,800). A number of the tank hulls were converted to other uses such as self-propelled guns after being withdrawn from service. The Vijayanta has been supplemented by the T-72M1 in Indian service. Retired Vijayanta tanks have been used as static artillery, and utilized in engagements along the line of control during the 2019 Indo-Pakistani standoff.XXX Corps (Pakistan)
The XXX Corps (30 Corps), known as Triple X Corps, is a corps of Pakistan Army currently assigned in Gujranwala, Punjab Province. The Corps is a major and integral part of the army, along with PAF's Eastern Air Command and Navy's Eastern Naval Command. It is currently commanded by Lieutenant-General Aamir Abbasi, who is designated as Corps Commander of this holding corps.
The vital area, which connects Pakistani Punjab and parts of Kashmir governed by India (extending from Jehlum to Narowal), has always been of strategic importance; the place was the site of major battles in both 1965 and 1971. Traditionally, this area had been held by I Corps. That corps already had offensive duties, and the task of defending this area was being neglected by the corps HQ.
To improve the situation, it was decided to raise another corps headquarters to look after this area. Thus the XXX Corps was raised and given the command of both new raisings and units and formations detached from I Corps, which was then dedicated to offensive tasks.Since the beginnings of an anti-India insurgency in Kashmir, the Line of Control has been an active operational zone. The corps has been deployed along its sector of the LOC and engaged in operations since 1989.X Corps (Pakistan)
The X Corps is a corps of the Pakistan Army, currently assigned in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province of Pakistan. It's one of two corps that are currently active in Kashmir. One of its most important brigades, the 111th Infantry Brigade in Rawalpindi, is assigned Presidential Guard duties along with ceremonial duties for foreign dignitaries arriving in Pakistan.The current commander of this corps is Lt Gen Bilal Akbar.
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