By Gopal Sachar
JAMMU: A large number of border pillars along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu area have disappeared over the years but the Pak rangers guarding their side are not prepared to permit the BSF to restore these pillars on the plea that there is no international border in Jammu and Kashmir as the whole State is a ?disputed territory?.
According to a report before Partition there were 978 pillars along the border in Jammu area from Paharpur to Takho-Chak in Mirpur in the Chhamb sector bordering the Line of Control. Out of these 147 have disappeared.
It is claimed that many of the pillars were washed away by floods and several others were damaged by vagaries of the weather. But in certain cases these were destroyed by shelling and blasts by Pak troops at times of hostilities especially in 1965, 1971 and even later on.
The disappearance of border pillars has resulted in land disputes between the two countries at some places including one in Pindi area of R.S. Pura of Jammu district.
To sort out these disputes the BSF authorities had apparently suggested to their counterparts in Pakistan to get a survey conducted by a DG. But Pakistani authorities were reluctant to accept this suggestion on the plea that they do not agree that there is any international border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
It may be recalled that in wake of the 1971 war, under the Simla Agreement of 1972, Indian troops were withdrawn from large areas of Pakistan in Sialkot, Shakergarh as also Chiken Neck bordering Jammu on the plea that the Indian troops had entered Pakistan from the international border in Jammu. But about 30 villages of Chhamb area of the State were allowed to remain under occupation of Pakistani troops which they had captured during this war on the plea that these fall along the LoC.
Despite opposition by the Jana Sangh and some other nationalists including over 20,000 refugees from Chhamb area, New Delhi with the hope that this would satisfy Pakistan in making any more claims, had agreed to the Pak suggestion.
It is said these villages of Chhamb area have now come to be a major centre of infiltration by terrorists who enter via the hilly areas of Yogwan Bardoh in the sub-sector of Nowshera-Sunderbani.