An international border serves to divide countries from each other. It serves to create a difference between two countries who have shared a common past. Also, it is an ugly reminder of all the turbulent histories created by the countries. It is the reason for war and the reason why we are all safe in the country we live in. This irony is what makes it so interesting. So here are some amazingly interesting international borders, with their extensive histories – some encouraging peace, others projecting war.
India Pakistan border:
This religion-based international border has the most amazingly violent history. It is also one of the most vigilantly guarded international borders. The orange floodlights which illuminate the fence that separates the two nations can actually be viewed from the space. India and Pakistan had been broken apart post-Independence into two nations. Both fought to get the maximum benefits of the geographical advantages. This, fueled by the religious rift between Hindus and Muslims resulted in a riot of gigantic proportions, killing one million citizens. Even now, the animosity between the nations is evident. An interesting event takes place every day in Wagah border about sunset, during which the flags of the respective countries have to be lowered. The army men of both the nations dance aggressively and mimic each-others’ steps. The only contact between them is a terse handshake, before lowering the flags.
U.S.A. and Mexico Border:
The Mexico-USA border has been in a lot of limelight lately. As such, there has always been a rift between these two nations. Illegal immigrants from Mexico to the USA have been a common problem for the Americans. USA and Mexico. These countries are the perfect example of the difference between the rich and the poor. A bustling city has formed its roots in the Mexican end of the border. The Americans have typically left the land near the international border practically uninhabited. A new plan to erect a wall between these two nations has sparked a controversy.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay International Borders:
The three international borders are also known as the Triple Frontier. The Iguazu and Parana rivers converge to create this trio-border area. It’s very interesting to see how Nature gives rise to a natural border between these three countries. These three South American nations face terrorist activities frequently due to the easy accessibility to these three nations.
- Belgium-Netherlands Border:
It is one of the most complicated of the international borders of the world. The town of Baarle-Nassau has pieces of Belgium and the Netherlands sitting side-by-side, creating some strange municipal politics. Baarle-Nassau is a Dutch town surrounded by the Netherlands. The town has a few Belgian enclaves inside it as well. Many buildings in this town belong both to Belgium and Netherlands. If the Dutch policy requires restaurants to close up early, the customers would merely shift their tables to the Belgian side of the border. The taxes are paid according to the country your front door opens into. Many a time the citizens have “shifted” their front doors according to the latest tax policies levied by either of the nations. Of course, the citizens of this town don’t need to produce a passport every time they cross the “border”.
The 2430 kilometer long international border is known as Durand Line. Its main aim was to fix the limit of their spheres of influence and improve trade and diplomatic relations, but it created a rift between Pashtuns and Balochs. This resulted in territorial enmity between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghanistan refused to acknowledge the “imaginary Durand Line” and declared it as “diktat” after Pakistan Air Force bombed an Afghanistan village. During the Soviet’s rule is Afghanistan, Pakistan’s intelligence service-ISI sent a team across the border to overthrow the Soviet-Backed Afghan Government. Later, when Taliban emerged, the relations between the two nations worsened. Hence, terrorist attacks and bombing became common in both the nations. People from Afghanistan started to flee to Pakistan for shelter. They still feel that the Baloch people shouldn’t be separated from Afghanistan. Hence, this continues to be a source of tension between the two nations.
Haiti-Dominican Republic Border:
The demarcation between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is very evident. The mass-level deforestation in Haiti and the protected forests of Dominican Republic provides a sharp contrast between the two nations. But, this international border is not just marked by this startlingly contrasting view. The difference between the two nations is huge. Much illegal immigration from Haiti to the Dominican Republic has taken place over the years. As a result, Dominican Republic had passed a law which stripped all immigrants and children born to unregistered immigrants off their Dominican citizenship. So, this naturally caused woes to many of the immigrants. A struggle to prove their identity ensued. As a result, many lost their jobs. This concentrated the ethnic and geographical tension between the two nations.
Thus, it can be seen that where a few countries have made a good use of their international borders , the rest have yet to make peace with the hand they are dealt with. Skirmishes will be there, but it depends on us how we resolve them – through arms or through love. Hopefully, an international border may become a friendly line marking just the geographical differences in the future.