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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

India up Sir Creek without a paddle - By Sudha Ramachandran

The dispute over Sir Creek involves two issues - demarcation of the India-Pakistan boundary along Sir Creek and demarcation of the maritime boundary from the mouth of the creek seawards into the Arabian Sea. As for the boundary along Sir Creek, Pakistan says that this should run along the creek's eastern bank, defined by a "green line" that is represented on the 1914 map. That is, it lays claim to the entire creek. India points out that the "green line" is only an indicative line and argues that the boundary should be defined by the "mid-channel" of the creek as shown on the map drawn up in 1925. India cites the Thalweg doctrine in international law, which states that river boundaries between two states will run through mid-channel, to bolster its position. Pakistan has countered this argument by pointing out that the Thalweg doctrine applies to navigable water bodies. Sir Creek, it has maintained, is not navigable. But India insists that that the creek is navigable during high tide.

A settlement was close at hand and could have well gone in India's favor. Did India shoot itself in the foot by suspending the composite dialogue?


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April 01, 2009 3:19 AM  

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