Besides Pakistan, India’s Dangerous Strategy against China and Nepal

0
197

Sajjad Shaukat

In his book, ‘The Prince’, Machiavelli advises the rulers to have a lion-like image outwardly, and

act upon the traits of goat inwardly. He also suggests them, the use of terror to obtain their goals

and foreign adventures to divert the attention of public from internal crises. In his sense, a good

ruler should be a good opportunist and hypocrite.

It is regrettable that since Narendar Modi, the leader of the ruling party BJP, became Indian

prime minister, he has been following the discarded tactics of Machiavelli in the modern era of

renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development.

Taking the risk of nuclear war, besides Pakistan, Indian extremist Premier Modi is acting upon

the dangerous strategy against China and Nepal.

In this regard, PM Modi, BJP, RSS and VHP are acting upon ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu

Nationalism). Indian extremist rulers’ various moves such as abrogation of the special status of

the Jummu and Kashmir to turn Muslim majority into minority in the Occupied Kashmir (IOK),

continued lockdown in the IOK, martyrdom of thousands of the Kashmiris there, introduction of

new domicile law against the majority of Kashmiris to completely end any sort of dialogue with

Islamabad to settle the Kashmir dispute, persecution of religious minorities especially Muslims,

anti-Muslim laws-CAA/NRC, under the guise of coronavirus, discriminatory policies against the

Muslims, assaults on Muslims by the fanatic Hindus, blaming Indian Muslims and Pakistan for

spreading of this novel virus in India and imposing various restrictions on the Muslims are

notable.

Implementing the August 5 announcement of last year, Indian central government issued a

notorious map on October 31, 2019. In accordance with it, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated

into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and identifies Pakistani side of

Azad Kashmir as well as certain areas of Gilgit-Baltistan as an Indian territory.

In this respect, Pakistan Foreign Office has said in a statement that Islamabad “rejects these

political maps, which were incompatible with the United Nations’ maps….no move by India

could change the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir…India’s expansionist intention has

manifested itself in another dangerous move of formally annexing Indian-held Kashmir.”

China also objected to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as

“unlawful and void”, adding that India’s decision to “include” some of China’s territory into its

administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty.

While, Indian fanatic rulers are escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the

drastic situation of the IoK and other internal matters like failure of Modi’s economic policies

and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire

agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).

Meanwhile, on May 5, this year, tensions escalated between India and Nepal and India and

China, which resulted into loss of face for India.

In this connection, thousands of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops moved into

sensitive areas along the eastern Ladakh border, setting up tents and stationing vehicles and

heavy machinery in what India considers its territory. China’s actions have been in response to

India’s construction of roads and airstrips adjacent to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which

will improve connectivity and enable easier mobility for Indian troops in the area.

Besides, two skirmishes between forces of the two countries on 5 and 9 May in the border areas

of Pangong Lake and North Sikkim in Ladakh injured more than 100 soldiers from both sides.

In response, the Indian army has moved several battalions from an infantry division usually

based in the Ladakh city of Leh to “operational alert areas” along the border.

Meanwhile, Zhao Lijian, Chinese spokesman for ministry of foreign affairs said: “China is

committed to safeguarding the security of its national territorial sovereignty, as well as

safeguarding peace and stability in the China-India border areas.”

In this context, Chinese official newspaper Global wrote: “Long Xingchun from Beijing Foreign

Studies University said the latest border friction was a planned move by New Delhi…India in

recent days has illegally constructed defence facilities across the border into Chinese territory in

the Galwan Valley region, leaving Chinese border defence troops no other options but making

necessary moves in response, and mounting the risk of escalating standoffs and conflicts between

the two sides.”

In this respect, Indian news website “The Print.in” reported that “Now, news agency ANI has

reported that Chinese troops have moved in “nearly 10-15 km from the Indian post KM 120 in

the Galwan Valley, and have pitched tents and stationed themselves close to the post. Post KM

120 lies on the strategic Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road whose inauguration last year caused much

discomfort to China”.

As far as tensions between India and Nepal are concerned, a new road opened by New Delhi

which passes through the disputed territory has roused territorial dispute between the two

countries. The link road connects Dharchula in the India state of Uttarakhand to the Lipu Lekh

pass near the LAC–India’s border with China. India said the new road would facilitate the

movement of pilgrims to Kailash-Mansarovar, claiming that it will significantly cut down the

duration of the journey. But, the southern side of the Lipu Lekh Pass, called the Kalapani

territory, is a disputed region between India and Nepal. Lipu Lekh Pass is on LAC with China

and is of huge strategic importance. Observers believe that India’s move to open road aims at

monitoring Chinese movements.

The Makhali river situated along the disputed boundaries has many tributaries. New Delhi claims

that the river begins at Kalapani, but Nepal says that it begins from Lipu Lekh Pass, which is the

source of most of its tributaries.

India and Nepal had both shown Kalapani and Lipulekh in their political maps. India and Nepal

share a 1,800 km open border.

In the recent pass, Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Oli said in Parliament that Lipulekh, Kalapani

and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal and vowed to “reclaim” them through political and

diplomatic efforts. He also stated that Indian strain of coronavirus is more lethal than the

Chinese.

And Nepal on May 20, 2020 published an authoritative map, showing the areas of Lipulekh,

Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as part of its territory, toughening its stance against New Delhi.

Amid lockdown in Kathmandu due to coronavirus endemic, Nepalese people and students held a

protest procession on May 11, 2020, shouting slogan against the Indian government’s

inauguration of a new road.

It notable that India and Nepal have inaugurated South Asia’s first cross-country oil pipeline,

allowing Nepal to receive an uninterrupted supply of oil from India. But, tensions between New

Delhi and Katmandu and the closure of the border have led to disruptions of the supply.

While, India and China have 3,500 kilometers long un-demarcated border which runs along

Himalayas and is generally a very difficult terrain. Beijing has developed infrastructure and road

network in Tibet and Aksai Chin region so that they could have a good access up to the border.

Same is being done by India on its side.

Currently, there are three pressure points developing: one is the China-Sikkim border, Nepal-

India border, and the third is in Ladakh region where there is a lake and river.

It is interesting to note that the Indian leadership right from Narendra Modi to Ajit Doval, Bipin

Rawat and even Indian army chief has not given any clear public statement as to what is

happening. Whereas there is a clutter on social media that Indian has lost hundreds of square

kilometers of area and it is being dubbed as ‘second Kargil’ by the Indian media.

If we look at South Asia, India has created problem with every SAARC country: military

conflicts, water disputes, border disputes etc. Generally, Pakistan is blamed, even by its own so-

called liberals that we have problems with our neighbors, whereas actually it is India which is the

‘bad apple’ and now even smaller nations within the South Asian region are realising that Indian

bully has to be stopped.

Interestingly, Indian media also claimed that Chinese had detained some of their soldiers along

with weapons briefly and then set them free. Notably, Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan was

also briefly detained by Pakistan and as a peace gesture, Islamabad released him.

Nevertheless, these drastic developments show the dismal state of Indian army’s morale, which

is a highly demoralized army now.