Geopolitics

China Mocking Pussy Footers
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 Apr , 2013

In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one’s sovereignty or nation. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor. By another definition, it means disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government. But in a country like India, how do you classify a Foreign Minister who describes an officially accepted 19 kilometre deep intrusion at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) inside Indian Territory as “these things keep happening”? The Defence Minister consoles more himself than the nation in saying, “India will take every step to protect its interests.” Then, on 27 April (12 days after the intrusion) the Prime Minister tells reporters, “We have a plan …… it is a localized ….. ‘I think’ talks are going on”. So that is the importance given to the intrusion – Prime Minister does not know for certain whether talks are going on ! How the emperors clothes will be stitched as per ‘this’ plan is anybody’s guess but one of the master chefs (gaffe king Home Minister) has spilled the beans already in saying that this is ‘no man’s land’ and we have no jurisdiction over it, clearly referring to DBO area.

…the intrusion at DBO is perhaps the most serious physical challenge to our sovereignty posed by China after 1962.

Two things are very clear : one, that the government just could not care if Ladakh goes away to China-Pakistan because population being small with no vote-bank, it is not worth bothering; two, there is no plan aside from bending backwards to China (as is being done with Pakistan) as long as the government can win the next election and present incumbents keep their backsides in saddle – nation and territory be damned. The plan will be mulled over further with media reporting that Salman Khurshid has been directed by Sonia Gandhi to meet Natwar Singh to get more lessons in diplomacy.

Final touches to the ‘plan’ can be visualized in Salman acquiescing to whatever the Chinese want when visiting Beijing in May.

Going by Shinde’s statement, such an assessment should be fairly accurate. Although the Army Chief meeting and briefing the Defence Minister on 25th April (10 days after the intrusion) was reported in media, there has been no report of any meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on the issue with the three Service Chiefs in attendance. But then why should the CCS meet when the issue is localized and government has a ‘plan’ which Salman will finalize in Beijing? Meanwhile, the public can be told ‘we are monitoring and reading up on strategy’:

Assertions by Manmohan Singh and Salman Khurshid that the intrusion is ‘localized’ are hollow. Every unit and every formation of the PLA is posted with Political Commissars who report directly to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Such is their control that promotion of PLA officers is contingent upon the report by the Political Commissar. The PLA Chief himself reports directly to the CCP and not the Chinese Government. Under such a set up where is the question of a local PLA commander on his own establishing a platoon 19 kilometres deep inside Indian Territory?

During Operation ‘Vijay’ in 1999, China quietly developed a road in eastern Aksai Chin towards DBO, significance of which was apparently glossed over and has resulted in flux in the situation at Demchok on account of Chinese incursions and claims.

The Foreign Minister’s statement “these things keep happening” itself is absurd when MEA is admitting that this PLA platoon is sitting way beyond even the Chinese perception of the LAC. The MEA has full details of Chinese perception of the LAC, which has been the basis of ongoing border talks. The Defence Minister has acknowledged that there were 400 transgressions by the PLA during 2012. These, as well as similar transgressions in previous years could perhaps be categorized as transgressions because of “their perception of LAC” but certainly not what has happened at DBO. Latter is a deliberate and wanton intrusion by the Chinese, which really cannot be passed off as “these things keep happening”.

Surprisingly, no one queried the government why it took 10 day after the intrusion to acknowledge that the Chinese were 19 kilometres deep inside Indian Territory. The initial reports of an intrusion 10 kilometres deep were obviously leaked to soften the blow to the public. The 19 kilometre admission was when the media talked about a 30 kilometres intrusion and became impossible to remain silence. But is the intrusion actually 19 kilometres deep?  Wikipedia describes two points denoting northern extremities of undivided Kashmir State as Dafdar in Taghdumbash Pamir near Beyik Pass (bordering Wakhan Corridor) and Karakoram Pass (bordering Xinjiang in China), giving precise coordinates. Therefore, the penetration of the intrusion must be measured from the northeastern extremity of J&K – Karakoram Pass, as should be apparent from the map given above that has appeared in the media:

From the above, it should be amply clear that the government is telling a blatant lie in saying that the intrusion is only 19 kilometres deep. What they have done is very conveniently measured the distance for the nearest possible point from Aksai Chin (already under illegal occupation of China). What then is the point in thumping the table in Parliament and passing successive resolutions that J& K is an integral part of India and that we will not let any territory cede. Does AK Anthony and his Defence Secretary have any answers? Anthony himself is culpable in bringing the military-industrial complex to such a sorry state and making hollow statements that all possible modernization of the military will be ensured while denying modernization by banning firms after considerable time has been spent on acquisition process, without alternative sources of procurement and enormous loss of time.

Why are Manmohan, Khurshid, Anthony and Shinde mum and permitting this? Are they ‘with’ the Chinese or are they too petrified?

It is surprising that the Prime Minister has not deemed it fit to address the nation on this crisis. Surely he could not be scared, the standard response being “we have the numbers”. So, if you are not scared about your seat or the elections then is the fright about possibility of the contents of the statement angering the Chinese? If Shri Shinde says that we have no jurisdiction over DBO then what business does he have in the first place as Home Minister to talk about the area? Why are the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister so dumbstruck? Is there a bigger diabolical plan in the offing? It is no secret that the Track II India-Pakistan dialogue recommending withdrawal from Siachen was with the blessings of the NSA under instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office, ensuring none of the numerous meetings were held in India least the public gets whiff of what was cooking.

Despite the public outrage once the plot was leaked, the issue would have been progressed were it not for the India delegation leader getting caught in the Westland Helicopter Scam. Then you had the so called government interlocuters whose report is yet to be made public. Since they were enjoying their foreign trips on behest of the now famous Ghulam Mohammed Fai, you can surmise how much their report would be in favour of Pakistan. They did try to defend themselves by saying their foreign trips were on behest of the Government of India but when the concerned ministries were sent an RTI on the issue, all of them denied that they had ordered for funded these trips.

Tarun Vijay wrote recently in Times of India quoting Ladakhi people that for the first time Indian Tricolor was not allowed to be hoisted in open at Demchhok in Eastern Ladakh, where every year Independence Day is celebrated.

Chinese Army Personnel have also forced development work stopped in border village Koyul in Leh. In a communication to divisional commissioner, Srinagar (Kashmir), the DC Leh wrote on 22nd August, 2012, “work is being executed on the bonafide Indian side and the Chinese have no locus standi on the land which belongs to the people of Koyul. Besides, large chunk of an un-irrigated land to the tune of 400 hectares could be converted into pasture area as most of the nomads are dependent on their live-stocks and their main earning is by sale of raw Pashmina wools’.

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About the Author

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

Prakash Katoch is a former Lt Gen Special Forces, Indian Army

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6 thoughts on “China Mocking Pussy Footers

  1. The World will not stand still and wait for India to catch up. India’s ruling elites have had an easy time of exploiting the starving, illiterate, defecating in the open, vote fodder to pass totalitarian laws to strip the middle class through inflation or expropriation. They are nonplussed when they come across a foreign power that does not adhere to rules that they themselves ignore in their pursuit of power and pelf. They do not have competence or integrity because the Indian political system does not give power to either factor. Corruption, which is high treason, as it hollows out the Nation is the primary qualification to rule India. The signals on China’s intentions towards India were loud and clear long ago. I had written in the LA Times and the Japan Times advocating an alliance between India, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam in 2006. The PLA’s recent documents presented to the New President on the doctrine of “limited wars” in the periphery and pushing the envelope to become militarily unchallenged at all but very high cost are explicit. But India has always had a penchant for the ornamental and the absurd rather than any traction on National Security because the limits of the horizons of India’s ruling elites is the Z Class security that they probably feel will protect them from China and the strategic depth that will allow them to withdraw and re group in Switzerland or Mauritius.

  2. In my mind, there is no option but to empower the Military for taking actions.The situ now is beyond the control of SG, PM, Khurshid, etc.
    The Govt must be reminded of the heroic Battle to save Ladakh in 1962, when almost entire Co. was wiped out, thus saving Ladakh for us.This must be highlighted by Media
    The Battles of Gen. Zorawar Singh in the region must also be highlighted, so that some energy is enthused in the powers that be.
    Last of all, we must move in more troops immediately and a co-ordinated plan of action is the need of the hour.
    BPM

  3. sick and tired of the lifelong party and its gutless,incompetent,corrupt leaders & advisers who allowed POK,become part of pakistan,tibet part of china,westbengal,bangladesh,promote their handpicked incompetenet officers and most of all the idiots who keep voting them in time after time.what can one expect from this arrogant people in this sorry state of affairs.

  4. It hurts to see the attitude of Indian Government, Chinese see it as their own territory and encroach it, while Indian Govt is openly calling it disputed/barren/desert/no mans land. Dispute is always reciprocal, whats the damn need to say its disputed, if Chinese say its theirs why can’t we say its ours and then move further towards peace or war.

    When China was developing all kinds of Infrastructure, we did not object, why do we have to listen to any Chinese objection. This Congress Govt. has totally put the nation on sale for dirt cheap. All they worry is that Stock market and Real estate market will come down in case of War and first family “might” suffer losses.

  5. First i want to say thanks to t author. Now after reading his article i was able to understand t magnitude of t incident. Our govt should deal this situation with sense and at the same time some swift reaction should be there. Regarding t infrastructure govt should promote all t rail and road infrastructure projects as national projects and finish them within t specified regardless of costs (especially leh-srinagar and leh-manali-chandigarh railway lines)

  6. Excellent analysis. But in a recent NDTV discussion the ex Army Chief Malik explicitly stated that Indian military does not have the necessary infra structure in DBO area to challenge the Chinese. It will be of interest to know what is the opinion of this author on this aspect.

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