By Ahmad Jawad
2250 KM Afghan border is not just a border, it’s a line of termite which is eating Pakistan slowly since 69 years.
China wall, Berlin Wall,US-Mexico wall,Croatia-Hungary-Serbia wall,Slovenia-Croatia-Austria wall, Israel wall, India fence are examples of walls & fencing to secure a land from foreign threats. Why Pakistan should not build a wall at Pak Afghan border to protect its people from the constant flow of terrorism from Afghanistan, especially when Afghan were always there to stab us right from 1947. Afghanistan was the only country who voted against Pakistan in 1947 when we applied for UN membership. The story of stabbing continues even today when Afghanistan collaborate with India to destabilise us.
Despite the fact that the 2,250 kilometre long Pak-Afghan border doesn’t fall in the category of the world’s 10 longest borders, it is widely deemed to be the most porous, most dangerous and bloodiest of all the notable global frontiers, hence making it an extremely hard international boundary to be manned or controlled.
Research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” shows that with waves of immigrants and refugees on the move from Africa and the Middle East to Europe, and from Central America and South America to North America, building walls, fences and other obstacles along land borders between countries is becoming a common phenomenon.
Just to cite a few precedents in this context, the US has now fortified its border with Mexico.
In Europe, a wall-building frenzy is being witnessed as Croatia and Hungary are now building walls on their borders with Serbia.
Similarly, Slovenia is building a wall on its border with Croatia and Austria too is building a wall on its border with Slovenia.
Europe is particularly taking all these measures to stem, if not fully stop, the massive influx of immigrants and refugees coming from Syria, Iraq and other war-torn countries.
Here follows a list of world’s 10 longest borders:
Canada – United States border: (8,891 or 8,893 km) – Canada, the world’s second largest country in terms of geographic area, and the United States (fourth largest) share the longest international border between any two countries.
While Canada shares a land border only with the United States, the United States shares a second land border with Mexico.
Despite the fact that parts of the International Boundary cross through mountainous terrain or heavily forested areas, everyone passing through is checked.
The actual number of American and Canadian border security personnel is classified.
Following the 9/11 episode, security along this border was dramatically tightened by both nations, which remain actively involved in extensive tactical and strategic intelligence sharing.
The US and Canadian citizens, who own property adjacent to the border, are required to report construction of any physical border crossing on their land to their respective governments, and this is enforced by the International Boundary Commission.
Where required, fences or vehicle blockades are used. All persons crossing the border are required to report to the respective customs and immigration agencies in each country.
In remote areas, where staffed border crossings are not available, there are hidden sensors on roads and also scattered in wooded areas near crossing points and on many trails and railways, but there are not enough border personnel on either side to verify and stop coordinated incursions.
In more recent years, Canadian officials have complained of drugs, cigarettes, and firearms smuggling from the United States, while the American authorities have complained of drug smuggling from Canada.
In July 2005, law enforcement personnel arrested three men who had built a 360-foot tunnel under the border between British Columbia and Washington.
According to a July 22, 2006 CNN report, they intended to use this secret tunnel for smuggling marijuana.
Russia – Kazakhstan border: (6,846 km) – Russia, the largest country in the world, has a total length of land borders of just over 20,000 km. It shares these frontiers with 14 countries. Its longest land border, which is also the world’s second longest land border, is with Kazakhstan, the world’s 9th largest country.
The border had assumed its modern shape in 1930, and became an international border upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
Kazakhs, Russians and other ethnic groups (Germans, Tatars and Ukrainians) live on both sides of this border.
At a Russian Security Council session in March 2003, this particular border was considered to be the most problematic of all Russian borders.
In 2008, the “Eurasia Daily Monitor” stated: “Kazakhstan’s lengthy, porous border with Russia has remained an ongoing security concern, and various cooperative security measures have sought to bring together the border services and, by definition, the intelligence agencies of both countries.”
In December 2008, Russia had planned to use unmanned aerial vehicles for monitoring the situation on the border. These vehicles had a flight range of up to 500 km, and were equipped with a system for relaying desired information. These vehicles were also specially equipped with thermal-vision devices, radio transceivers and video cameras.
Argentina – Chile border: (5,150 km or 5,300 km) – While Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world, Chile is much smaller in area. They share the third longest border in the world.
During the 1990s, their bilateral relations had improved dramatically, helping both countries to settle most of their remaining disputes.
China – Mongolia border: 4,677 km – We all know China is the third largest country in the world, and with a total land borders of 22,147 km shared with 16 countries. China’s longest border is with its Northern neighbor, Mongolia. On the other hand, Mongolia also shares one of the world’s longest borders with Russia.
Renowned American think-tank “Global Security” had stated: “During the Cold War, the Mongolian Border and Internal Troops Administration was in charge of 15,000 troops responsible for border patrol, for guard duties, and for immigration control. Border defence troops were equipped with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, tanks, motor vehicles and motorcycles, radio communications equipment, engineering equipment, and automatic weapons. Mongolia’s national borders and the guarding of these is an important part of Mongolia’s security, and, as Mongolian people consider the country’s inviolable national frontiers to be a core interest, this is an inseparable component within national security keeping. The State’s policy on its frontiers has an important role in implementing its duty to preserve the impregnability of these national frontiers.”
The “Global Security” had gone on to write: “Mongolia’s entire frontiers are safeguarded by 300-350 permanent border guard units and, besides these, over 3,000 frontier personnel work in groups of three maintaining battle preparedness. Mongolia’s frontier guarding operations were established in 1933 and, since then, it has implemented legalised duties on border guarding. The General Department for Border Guarding is currently the Government’s agent appointed to carry out its functions in accordance with the State’s policy on ‘Frontier Guarding’ in Mongolia, and is responsible for implementing the existing laws and regulations on border guarding, as well as the requirements of international agreements on border There are occasional reports of conflicts and violence along the border. However, they are generally limited to incidents involving smuggling and theft of livestock and natural resources. Mongolian border troops regularly participate in joint border exercises with Chinese and Russian troops, and official border relations are good.”
Russia – China border: (4,209 km) – Despite the fact that Mongolia and Kazakhstan stand between those two giant countries, they still share a mutual border long enough to be the 6th longest in the world.
As with many other international borders, a bilateral treaty exists concerning the physical modalities of managing the China–Russia border. The currently valid agreement was signed in Beijing in 2006.
The treaty requires the two states to clear trees in a 15-metre wide strip along the border (i.e. within 7.5 meters from the border line on each side of it).
Civil navigation is allowed on the bordering rivers and lakes, provided the vessels of each country stay on the appropriate side of the dividing line.
Each country’s authorities carry out appropriate measures to prevent grazing livestock from crossing into the other country, and endeavour to apprehend and return any livestock that straggles onto their territory from across the border.
Hunting using firearms is prohibited within 1,000 metres from the border line and hunters are prohibited from crossing the border in pursuit of a wounded animal.
Detained illegal border crossers are supposed to be normally returned to their country of origin within seven days from their apprehension.
Russia – Mongolia border: (3,485 or 3,543 km)–Amazingly, three of Russia’s 14 land borders are among the world’s 10 longest land borders. And like Kazakhstan and China before, this border is also with a neighboring country to the south. As to Mongolia, it only has two land borders: with Russia and China, but both are among the longest in the world.
It is virtually all land. At the border, there are over 20 official crossing points. Only one of them is a railway crossing and the rest are highway crossings. Some of the highway border crossing points are designated as “bilateral,” rather than “multilateral,” meaning that they are only open to the citizens of the two bordering countries, and not to third-country nationals.
The main problems at the Russian-Mongolian border include the cross-border livestock theft (in both directions) and smuggling of meat.
Brazil – Bolivia border: (3,423 km) – Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, and shares a land border with 10 countries. Its longest land border is with Bolivia. The boundary line crosses a variety of terrains, going from large urban areas by inhospitable deserts and forests.
China – India border: (3,380 km) – This particular border happens to be China’s third longest land border and India’s second longest. The border between in the countries is in more than a single section, and the main section is the “Line of Actual Control” around the Kashmir region which includes many disputed parts.
The 1962 Sino-Indian War was fought in both of these areas. An agreement to resolve the dispute was concluded in 1996, including “confidence-building measures” and a mutually agreed Line of Actual Control.
In 2006, the Chinese ambassador to India claimed that all of Arunachal Pradesh was Chinese territory. At that time, both countries had claimed incursions as much as a kilometre in Sikkim.
In 2009, India had announced it would deploy additional military forces along the border.
United States – Mexico border: (3,141or 3,201 km) – While the United States shares a land border only with Canada and Mexico, Mexico itself shares borders with the United States, Guatemala and Belize. This border is the most frequently crossed international boundary in the world, with around 350 million legal crossings every year.
The United States had put up a barrier along this border trying to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. The barrier is a series of walls, fences, sensors and cameras. There are in excess of 17,000 United States Border Patrol personnel on the Mexico–US border alone. The region is characterised by deserts, rugged hills, and abundant sunshine. There are 45 US–Mexico border crossings with 330 ports of entry.
Border disputes are neither rare, nor a new phenomenon.
Research shows that around 100 countries, both developed and developing, have been fighting for centuries over disputed frontiers, ambiguous maritime boundary claims and undefined borders—-quite a common phenomenon across the world if one peeks through the annals of human history.
According to the research, the countries that have had rows with each other over disputed territories or are still nourishing enmities for this reason include:
United States, Canada, France, Britain, Russia, Japan, Spain, China, Austria, Germany, Holland, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Malta, Denmark, Switzerland, North Korea, Israel. Italy, Ireland, South Korea, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Bhutan, Uzbekistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Philippines, Portugal, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Jordan, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Bahrain, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Oman, Iraq, Burma, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cyprus, Peru, Ethiopia, Eretria, Madagascar, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Georgia, Burma, Thailand, Ukraine, Nepal, Albania, Venezuela, Colombia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Bolivia, Moldova, Sierra Leone, Chad, South Africa, Swaziland, Congo, Angola, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Gabon, Somalia, Namibia, Burundi, Benin, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, UAE, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tonga, Fiji, Mongolia, Andorra, Montenegro, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname, Chile and Georgia etc.
However, numerous countries have succeeded in settling their disputes amicably and with smiles.
For example, in 2014, Holland and Germany had ended their centuries-old border dispute. Both the European nations had long disagreed about where exactly their shared nautical border had been lying in the North Sea.
According to German news agency “DPA” and the country’s international broadcaster “Deutsche Welle,” a meeting of the two nations’ foreign ministers had finally put an end to the dispute.
Similarly, the United States and Canada had laid to rest their 82-year old Alaska boundary dispute. This dispute had been going on between the Russian and British Empires since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in 1867.
It was resolved by arbitration in 1903 with a delegation that included three Americans, two Canadians, and one British delegate that became the swing vote.
By a 4 to 2 vote, the final resolution had favoured the American position. The disappointment and anger in Canada was directed less at the United States, and more at the British government for allegedly betraying Canadian interests in pursuit of a friendly relationship between Britain and the United States.
Japan and Russia have had agreements in this context, India and Bangladesh have inked accords, Chad and Libya have settled issues, Sierra Leone and Guinea have embraced each other, Tajikistan and Russia have followed suit by shaking hands, Britain and Ireland have signed peace pacts, Syria and Turkey have buried the hatchet and so have Turkey and Greece, Norway and United Kingdom have signed treaties, the United States and the Netherlands have done so, and even Israel and Egypt have accepted decisions of the arbitration tribunals.
A good number of other land and sea boundary disputes between nations have been settled on the table through parleys, though many including Kashmir remain unresolved.