By blocking the move by the United Nations to act against Masood Azhar, JeM chief, for his terrorist activities and masterminding the terrorist attack on the IAF base at Patahnkot on January 2, China has unambiguously declared that it sides with Pakistan in latter’s anti-India terrorist activities. Not that it was not known but removing any ambiguity on the issue has released massive stink from behind the Chinese façade, much more than the revelation that President Xi Jinping while trumpeting his anti-corruption drive, himself has been cheating on the Chinese people by stashing money abroad, as disclosed through the Panama firm.
This, despite the fact that India had forwarded strong evidence of JeM’s terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel, which ostensibly Pakistan’s Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) presently in India, that also has a member from the ISI, has not refuted the JeM connection, as per media reports. China reportedly consulted Pakistan, which is not on the said UN Committee. Ironically, while the UN banned JeM in 2001, China has been using her veto to let Masood Azhar promote terror openly. China has been providing tacit approval to Pakistan’s proxy wars in India and Afghanistan, primarily because Pakistan support helps China in keeping the Uighur insurgency in Xinjiang under control. Besides, while China had established links with Taliban even before the US invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ISI-linked Taliban-Haqqanis do not attack Chinese assets and economic interests in Afghanistan. On the contrary, Indian assets being repeatedly attacked in Afghanistan is in synch with Chinese designs of keeping India under check.
The PLA having been provided strategic lodgment in Gilgit-Baltistan by the Pakistani military has cemented the China-Pakistan unholy nexus further. As per ground reports, PLA troops in civilian trucks are guarding the main motorway in Gilgit-Baltistan; performing duties of road opening parties, even as local dissent has been building up in the region because of the genocide unleashed by the Pakistani military and now what is being referred to Chinese “occupation”. Ironically, the US and the West have remained silent to the genocide both in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan over the years, the Shia population in latter having already been reduced from 70% to 50%. Presence of PLA troops on forward Pakistani posts along the Line of Control (LoC) with India in J&K is another flagrant bullying posture of China though she denies it like all her other aggressive acts. After all if China intrudes into Indian Territory 19 kms deep in Depsang plains of Ladakh and says there is no intrusion, what else can be said about such habitual lying?
Significantly, China has gone ahead and established the United Liberation Front of West, South, East Asia (ULFWSEA) in Myanmar last year, coinciding with the call of the ‘Act East’ policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ULFWSEA is a conglomerate of nine major insurgent groups of north-east India, top two being the NSCN (K) who abrogated the 13 year old ceasefire with Government of India last year courtesy Chinese intelligence, and ULFA whose militant leader Paresh Barua has been based in Ruli, China past several months. Through ULFWSEA, China has created the trigger to create instability in India’s northeast, including to support China’s fallacious claims to entire state of Arunachal Pradesh raised as late as 2005. Chinese intelligence officers are in constant touch with the ULFWSEA. The fact that ULFWSEA comprises insurgent organizations of India, not even Myanmar’s Kachin rebels (Chinese favourites) indicates China’s blatant interference in India’s internal affairs.
With the establishment of ULFWSEA and veto now on Masood Azhar, China has declared open irregular war on India. In response to the Indian trader’s union call to avoid Chinese goods and indications that India may review the security clearance of Chinese firms in India, China’s arrogant response is that this would hurt India more. Incidentally under the erstwhile UPA regime, the NSCS had put an advisory against Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE because of their links with the PLA and China’s cyber warfare program, but within months the Sushil Shinde led MHA opened the floodgates for these firms into India. India needs to review her policies vis-à-vis China – trade, irregular warfare and cyber security included. Best way to deal with the bully is to take the bull by its horns. Defence Minister Mohan Parrikar needs to give an appropriate message to China during his forthcoming visit to Beijing.
Prakash Katoch is third generation army officer hailing from Himachal Pradesh. He is former Lieutenant General from Special Forces and post-retirement has published over 2100 articles on international affairs, geopolitics, military, security, technical and topical issues besides authoring two books. He is active in seminars at both national and international levels.
Not only has China unequivocally backed Pakistan but is building up a Communist organization in Burma..India’s “tolerance’ for Pakistan’s “Ghazwa e Hind” Green Belt and China’s red belt within India is analogous to India’s Constitution, Courts and Laws that protect and foment alien cultures, laws religions and ideas while persecuting the People of Dharma. The United States considers Indian State to be truly a Masochistic Idiot in the highest traditions of Khilafat Gandhi and Jabberlal Nehru and expects India to give up whatever semblance of National Security has survived Seventy Years of anti Military and anti People of Dharma “Reservations-Extortion” Raj by entering into military treaties while admonishing India to be even more “tolerant” (Obama abusing his hospitality in January 2015 setting off his “Tolerance” Chorus Girls, arming Pakistan with a Billion Dollars of high tech weaponry to deliver its nuclear war heads deep into Indian territory in November 2015 , and offering India its obsolete F-16 and F-18 for “Make in India” to distract it from emerging an appropriate military docrtine and forging weapons to suit this). If India does not pull up its socks, beginning with a Nationalist Constitution that removes the inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and many nations that are its self flagellating leit motif, Indians who read write and speak Arabic and Chinese will have a great future as “Dubash” s serving the next lot of colonialists that the founding fathers of the Indian Republic, their successors and assigns, have invited with such great enthusiasm.
I totally agree with the author that the time has come for India to stop whining and complaining at all fora about the injustices being meted out to her by China and Pakistan. In this respect Mr. Modi and Mrs. Swaraj have been a total failure: he has shown no follow up on his macho pre election promises about confronting these two countries, on the contrary he appears to have set his eyes on a Nobel Peace prize a-la Obama, not realising that peace can be dictated from a position of strength, not weakness. Mrs. Swaraj, on the other hand has been so marginalised in her Ministry that most of her efforts are concentrated on rescuing stranded Indians abroad. Furthermore, no leader of a nation can take a strong position abroad unless he has rallied the entire nation behind him: that is what gives him the strength abroad. Unfortunately, Mr. Modi’s style of functioning in the domestic arena has been so adversarial and divisive that he cannot count on any bi-partisan political support for any bold initiatives he may still have in his rapidly shrinking bag of tricks.
Pakistan’s underbelly are Baluchistan and POK, China’s is the so called Tibet Autonomous Region. It is here that India should evolve an overt and covert strategy of ” bleeding” them and internationalising selected issues, such as lack of democratic processes and rights for the residents of POK, support for the rebels in Baluchistan etc.; in the case of China we need to be more nuanced. First, we have to find a way of getting out of perhaps our biggest historical blunder( committed by an idealistic Nehru) viz; recognising China’a interest in, and hegemony over, Tibet. This blunder has deprived us of the most potent counter leverage against China. Second, we should give up our coyness about the Dalai Lama and gradually start recognising him as the historical leader of Tibet and take active steps to help the Tibetan govt. in exile to plan for his successor. China has already started this process by trying to shore up the Karmapa as the next Dalai Lama. We should put all our diplomatic and symbolic weight behind the govt. in exile to counter balance this.
The problem is that our foreign policy has always been anemic and tentative, afraid to offend, and lacking any long term vision. To make matters worse, today it is being formulated by Mr. Doval and the PM over perhaps a cup of tea at 35000 feet while overflying Pakistan, while the professionals are cooling their heels in Delhi. It requires years of hard analysis, research, knowledge of history and profiles of world leaders, a vision and leadership to construct a country’s foreign policies- it doesn’t happen in an ” EUREKA” moment in a bath-tub.