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C3S Occasional Paper I: Maritime Boundaries and Sir Creek Dispute: Re-Appraising India’s Options ; B

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

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C3S Occasional Paper: 01/2021

C3S launches its Occasional Paper. An Occasional Paper is a single topic research summary of the knowledge surrounding an issue or a problem. It summarises the issue giving clear, concise, and complete information describing all facets of a particular issue including a detailed illustration in the form of images, data, and facts. It also includes recommendations for action and predictions on the future course of an issue.

Occasional Paper is available for download as PDFs.

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The following was originally published in the Electronic Journal of Social and Strategic Studies (EJSS) and is reproduced with the permission of the Managing Editor and the authors. 


The pre-eminence of maritime power is very well illustrated by history of the contemporary world. Importance of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) for national economies and as a result, global race to claim and control various parts of oceans/seas has become intense over the years. In view of the current geo-political scenarios, adherence to the existing international laws- related to seas and economic zones codified in the form of UNCLOS has become necessary to resolve issues related to maritime boundaries and their protection. India appreciates importance of UNCLOS and has been trying to lawfully resolve its long pending maritime dispute with Pakistan, albeit with limited success. For India, the Sir Creek area would always be of strategic importance in view of its national security and economic well-being. There is ample historical evidence in support of India claims in Sir Creek. There are also many scholarly studies that have examined this boundary issue with a view to find solutions within the ambit of UNCLOS. This paper traces the concept of maritime boundaries and some of the important scholarly solutions for resolving the Sir Creek dispute. It also examines the emerging geopolitical scenarios in the Arabian Sea and finds that a sense of urgency is attached to finding an early and amicable solution to the issue. Keeping these factors in mind, this paper also suggests actions needed to be taken by India to protect its economic and security interests.

Keywords: Maritime Boundaries, Sir Creek, India, Pakistan, UNCLOS, dispute resolution, geopolitics

About the Author

(Commodore SL Deshmukh, NM (Retd), has served Indian Navy for 32 years and Member, C3S. An alumni of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College Wellington, he has served on-board aircraft carriers and is specialized on fighter aircraft and ASW helicopters. He held many operational and administrative appointments including Principal Director at Naval HQ, Commodore Superintendent at Naval Aircraft Yard, Director, Naval Institute of Aeronautical Technology and Project Director of a major Naval Aviation Project. Post retirement he was with Tata Group for 5 years and is currently working with SUN Group‘s Aerospace & Defence vertical as Senior Vice President. He is also the Life Member of Aeronautical Society of India. The views expressed are personal)

(Dr R Srinivasan is an independent researcher and the Managing Editor of Electronic Journal of Social and Strategic Studies ( He can be contacted at The views expressed are personal.)

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