Line of Control

Coordinates: 34°56′N 76°46′E / 34.933°N 76.767°E / 34.933; 76.767

The Line of Control (LoC) is a military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir—a line which does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary, but serves as the de facto border. Originally known as the Cease-fire Line, it was redesignated as the Line of Control following the Simla Agreement, which was signed on 3 July 1972. The part of the former princely state that is under Indian control is divided into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, while the Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842. The India–Pakistan border continues from the southernmost point on the LoC.

The areas shown in green are the two Pakistani-controlled areas: Gilgit–Baltistan in the north and Azad Kashmir in the south. The area shown in orange is the Indian-controlled territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and the diagonally-hatched area to the east is the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin.
United Nations map of the Line of Control. The LoC is not defined near Siachen Glacier.

Another ceasefire line separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin. Lying further to the east, it is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Former US President Bill Clinton has referred to the Indian subcontinent and the Kashmir Line of Control, in particular, as one of the most dangerous places in the world.[1][2][needs update]


After the partition of India, the present day India and Pakistan contested the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir – India by virtue of the ruler's accession to the country and Pakistan by virtue of the state's Muslim majority population. The First Kashmir War lasted more than a year, when a ceasefire was accepted through the UN mediation. A ceasefire line was agreed by the two sides.

After another Kashmir War in 1965, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 (which saw Bangladesh become independent), only minor modifications had been effected in the original ceasefire line. In the ensuing Simla Agreement in 1973, the two countries agreed to convert the ceasefire line into a "Line of Control" and observe it as a de facto border that should not be violated by armed action.


The Line of Control divided Kashmir into two parts and closed the Jehlum valley route, the only entrance and exit of the Kashmir Valley at that time. This territorial division, which to this day still exists, severed many villages and separated family members from each other.[3][4]

Indian Line of Control fencing

India constructed a 550 km (340 mi) barrier along the 740 km (460 mi) Line of Control. The fence generally remains about 150 yards on the Indian-controlled side. Its stated purpose is to exclude arms smuggling and infiltration by Pakistani-based separatist militants.[5]

The barrier, referred to as Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS), consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire 8–12 ft (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as "fast alert signals" to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.[6][7][8]

The construction of the barrier was begun in the 1990s, but slowed in the early 2000s as hostilities between India and Pakistan increased. After a November 2003 ceasefire agreement, building resumed and was completed in late 2004. LoC fencing was completed in Kashmir Valley and Jammu region on 30 September 2004.[9] According to Indian military sources, the fence has reduced the numbers of militants who routinely cross into the Indian side of the disputed state to attack soldiers by 80%.[10]

Pakistan has criticised the construction of the barrier, saying it violates both bilateral accords and relevant United Nations resolutions on the region.[11] The European Union has supported India's stand calling the fencing as "improvement in technical means to control terrorists infiltration" and also pointing that the "Line of Control has been delineated in accordance with the 1972 Shimla agreement".[11]

In 2017, proposal for an upgraded smart fence on the Indian side were accepted, which would be first go through trial runs.[8]

Crossing points

There are three main crossing points on the LoC currently operational. These are, from north to south:

Chakothi / Salamabad

Salamabad crossing point is located on the road between Chakothi and Uri in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Indo-Pak LoC.[12] It is a major route for cross LoC trade and travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side.[13] The name in English translates to "bridge of peace" is located in Uri. The bridge was rebuilt by Indian army after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake when a mountain on the Pakistani side had caved in.[14] This route was opened for trade in 2008 after a period of 61 years.[15] The Srinagar–Muzaffarabad Bus passes through this bridge on the LoC.[16]

Tetrinote / Chakan Da Bagh

A road connects Kotli and Tatrinote in Pakistan side of the LoC to Indian Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir through Chakan Da Bagh crossing point.[12][17] It is a major route for cross LoC trade and travel. Banking facilities and a trade facilitation centres are being planned on the Indian side for the benefit of traders.[13]

The flag meetings between Indian and Pakistani security forces are held here. These meetings are held at the border or on the Line of Control by commanders of the armies of both sides. A flag meeting can also be held at the brigadier level on smaller issues.[18] If the meeting is on a larger context, it could be held at the general level.[19]

Chilliana / Teetwal

The Teetwal crossing is across the Neelum River between Muzaffarabad and Kupwara. It is usually open only during the summer months,[20] and in contrast to the other two crossings is open only for the movement of people, not for trade.[21]

Further crossings

Two further crossings are at Haji Pir pass and one near Tattapani, but these are currently not operational.[22]

See also


  1. ^ "BBC News | SOUTH ASIA | Analysis: The world's most dangerous place?".
  2. ^ "The Hindu : 'Most dangerous place'".
  3. ^ Ranjan Kumar Singh, Sarhad: Zero Mile, (Hindi), Parijat Prakashan, ISBN 81-903561-0-0
  4. ^ Women in Security, Conflict Management, a Peace (Program) (2008). Closer to ourselves: stories from the journ towards peace in South Asia. WISCOMP, Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lam 2008. p. 75. Retrieved 19 June 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "cross-border infiltration and terrorism" Archived 21 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "LoC fencing in Jammu nearing completion". The Hindu. 1 February 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Mines of war maim innocents". Tehelka. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b Peri, Dinakar (30 April 2017). "Army set to install smart fence along LoC". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  9. ^ "LoC fencing completed: Mukherjee". The Times Of India. 16 December 2004.
  10. ^ "Harsh weather likely to damage LoC fencing". Daily Times. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
  11. ^ a b "EU criticises Pak's stand on LoC fencing". Express India. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Jammu and Kashmir: Goods over Rs 3,432 crore traded via two LoC points in 3 years". Economic Times. PTI. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Cross-LoC trade at Rs 2,800 crore in last three years". Economic Times. PTI. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  14. ^ "J&K CM inaugurates rebuilt Aman Setu". hindustan Times. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Trucks start rolling, duty-free commerce across LoC opens". Livemint. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Re-erected Kaman Aman Setu will be inaugurated on Monday". Outlook. 19 February 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  17. ^ "404". Zee News. 14 August 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013.
  18. ^ "India, Pakistan hold flag meeting". The Hindu. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Flag meet held to defuse LoC tension at Chakan da Bagh". The Tribune. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Ranjan Kumar Singh (2007), Sarhad: Zero Mile (in Hindi), Parijat Prakashan, ISBN 81-903561-0-0