The issue of cross-border fire and ceasefire violations doesn’t seem to go anywhere productive, because both sides can maintain deniability. Pakistan accuses India, India accuses Pakistan, civilians and soldiers on both sides die and the cycle continues. Any evidence collected on the point is bogged down in the grey area that surrounds the notions of ‘just retaliation’ and ‘self defence’ under international law.

However not all issues are mired in legal uncertainty and not all evidence is easily deniable. Pakistan has blamed India of building a 10-metre high wall along the Working Boundary near Sialkot in contravention to international law – a charge India has denied – and has written a letter to the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) sharing their concern. A wall is not as insubstantial as a few bullets in the night. If India is truly building such a wall, the Pakistani authorities must provide irrefutable proof, and India should answer for this clear violation – for the law regarding the subject is clear.

Building any fence that permanently separates and demarcates a disputed border is illegal, and falls under the tern annexation. The Israeli West Bank barrier – built under similar circumstances as the wall on the Working Boundary has been condemned, and declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) and the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). If India is truly building a wall, it has the weakest of cases.

India, for its part, has not even categorically defied the charges, instead it has stated that Pakistan received this information from a person they consider a ‘global terrorist’. Setting aside the fact that discovering the construction of a 10-metere high wall on one of the most militarised borders in the world requires the most basic border patrolling, even if the information has been provided by a ‘global terrorist’, the fact of its illegal construction remains true and just as pertinent.

The present Pakistani government has an unconvincing foreign policy when it comes to India – Modi has been allowed to dictate terms while Pakistan’s own case has been weak at best. India has put up a political wall, and now a physical one. The Prime Minister’s delegation accompanying him to New York should do their homework; a wall cannot be denied, lied about or explained away – the team should ensure that it has the requisite evidence to make sure that the global community does not do so. Nawaz Sharif can improve his foreign policy performance yet.