The floodlight lit border between India and Pakistan can be seen from space- a metaphor for the fault lines that exist in the political relationship between the two countries. The border will soon become a wall, reports suggest. But why is a wall causing so much controversy?

Pakistan has complained to the UN Security Council (UNSC) about India’s plans to construct a wall along the Line of Control allegedly to convert it “into a quasi-international border”. Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi has written two letters dated September 4 and 9 to the UNSC sharing Pakistan’s concern over the construction of this wall. It is alleged that India planned to construct a 10-metre-high and 135-feet-wide embankment (wall) along the 197km LoC. Indian officials described the LoC as “the boundary between Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir”, increasing Islamabad’s fear that New Delhi was quietly trying to change the status of the disputed line.

Border Security Forces (BSF) on Tuesday asserted that India is not constructing any wall along the border in Jammu and Kashmir and that a “story” was cooked up by the Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen to spread confusion. They claim that keeping in view the topography it would not be possible at all to build such a wall. The National Panthers Party (NPP) chief Bhim Singh weighed in on Friday saying it is a highly sensitive issue and shows India’s intention to give up as it shows the failure of the government to protect the border. Plenty of response from social media corroborated with the Indian claim that building a wall would be preposterous, as the Indian army needs to be aware and keep a lookout for any breach in borders, also ridiculing the idea that a fence is not a wall.

The word ‘wall’ rings such alarm with everyone, as it has become the symbol of oppression over the decades due to the Aparthied Wall built by Israel to separate themselves from the Palestinians. The Palestinians claim it seeks to seize Palestinian land under the guise of security and undermines peace negotiations by unilaterally establishing new borders and this has been witnessed by the entire world. Allowing India to build a wall – a permanent structure – to keep the people of Jammu and Kashmir from leaving and maintaining military control over the area is essentially not any different from the Israeli methods of oppression. Hopefully it is false information and nothing else that India is indeed planning on building a wall between the two countries, as it will be a blatant violation inter alia of the Security Council resolution of 1948.