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Dragon’s Eye on the Himalayas

By|  Aamir Sharief 

The Rising Tension with a dipping of mercury in the trans-Himalayan region is a great concern for India. It has been three years now since the Dokhlam standoff took place between India and China in 2017. A fresh conflict has started again throughout the LAC. Almost a year before the fresh conflict has started India was busy making some defense arrangements in Ladakh. This all started with the construction of Daulat Beigh Olde Road (DBOR) that runs parallel to LAC in Ladakh. The road is important for India and worrisome for China because next to DBOR on the Chinese side falls the famous CPEC which connects China’s Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gawadar Port. This project is considered the most important and game changer for both countries. India is always ready for dangers on the disputed borders. It gives a befitting reply to challenges that took place from the western and northern sides of the borders. But this time things are completely different because there is a threat of joint attack on India by China and Pakistan together. It would not be wrong to say that India’s position is weak despite being busy stockpiling modern weaponry. It was easy for India to confront Pakistan both at borders and the international forum. Now with the entry of a new partner i.e. China, it has become difficult for India to engage the duo. Let us analyze things in detail.

1. Impact of the Latest Technology Used by the Chinese Side on Indian Soldiers:

The foremost impact is the moral degradation of Indian soldiers. The Chinese arrangements are worth mentioning. Their soldiers are well equipped with effective machinery. Recently we heard about the use of Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) or laser technology by Chinese troops in Ladakh. This weapon with highly focused energy damage vehicles, missiles, army personals, etc. The exoskeleton suits or powered armor used by Chinese forces give them swiftness, assists in quick movement in the hilly terrain of Himalayas, for lifting and holding heavy items, etc. In the weather modification system, china had gained commendable control in this system though not ready completely. Besides the suitable arrangements of food, clothes, tents, etc ease the tension of men on duty. All these things boosted the morale of Chinese soldiers. While on this side of the border we hear a hue and cry both from soldiers and media outlets. The improper arrangements for additional troops deployed on LAC are known to everyone. The recent viral pics of soldiers from both sides of the border are ample proof of this thing. It gives us a clue how the Indian government held an indefinite attitude to brave jawans of the nation.

2. India’s Preparation Against the Two-Front War

In 2014 when BJP came to power India completely changed its policy towards Pakistan. After the 2016 Uri attack, India firmly believed that talks and terror would not go together. This thing further led to an offensive policy against Pakistan at LOC. India carried out some limited strikes in POK. There has always been a threat of war at LOC with every new strike. Sometimes these limited strikes trigger a bigger conflict. Over the last six years, India made several defense deals with many countries and also deepened the relations with its strategic partners. But this is not enough keeping in view the threats from both China and Pakistan. In case of prolonged warfare, India will be short of ammunition. The Indian army generals assure that India is ready for a two-front war. How for this is true let the time decide.

3. Imran Khan’s approach towards India:

Pakistan suffered a lot under its insolvent rulers. Imran Khan the visionary leader of Pakistan saved Pakistan from bankruptcy. He regained the faith of the international community by initiating the dialogue between the United States and the Taliban. India lost Afghanistan to Pakistan. The dream of surrounding Pakistan from Afghan soil lost its credibility. India’s investment in Afghanistan is at stake. To counter CPEC India’s road connectivity to central Asia through Chabhar port also received a setback due to worsening relations between Iran and the USA. The highlighting of the Kashmir Issue, minority issues, and state-sponsored terrorism of India by Imran Khan at an international forum post-August 5, 2019 gained popular support. Imran Khan compared Modi with Hitler and BJP with the Nazi party of Germany.  Pakistan as usual tried to internationalize the Kashmir Issue. This thing increased pressure in Indian circles.

4. Chinese concern about CPEC

The number of surgical strikes that India claims at terror launch pads in POK led to ceasefire violations again and again. India’s policy to incorporate POK into the Indian domain further escalated the tension at LOC. To counter China’s dream of leading the global market India can’t digest the success of CPEC which passes through the Gilgit Baltistan area of POK. To secure CPEC from the Indian threat China’s interests led him to join the war. China contained India throughout the LAC, especially at Ladakh. The Galwan valley incident and the Chinese control on fingers are a matter of concern for India.  The POK policy of India led to the further strengthening of relations between China and Pakistan.

5. International Pressure on India regarding K- Issue.

The continuous pressure of the international community regarding the Kashmir issue has now become a constant headache for India. The United Nations human rights reports and
OIC’s harsh statements against India has created a big mess. Earlier India tried hard to convince the UN to declare Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’. But recently a big turn took place when Babar Iftikhar (DG ISPR) in a press briefing to media personals highlighted the ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ by India in Pakistan.  Pakistan shared many copies of Dossier with numerous countries including P5 members of the UN Security Council. While isolating Pakistan from the rest of the world India itself singled out from the global influence.

The Flaws of the Siliguri Corridor:

The immediate neighbors of India such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh seem to have developed good relations with China. The recent visit of the Chinese defense minister first to Nepal and then to Pakistan gives us the idea that something is fishy. Now-a-day south Asian countries are busy making secret pacts with each other the same thing that happened before the world wars.  Everyone is aware of the frailty of Chicken neck or Siliguri Corridor. In this situation, if any minor escalation took place it will take the shape of full-fledged war and pose threat to the seven sister states of India. The satellite images show that 7 km away from Doklam China had established a village known as Pangi village with huge infrastructure connected with a macadamized road. Similarly, we hear of three more villages of this kind near the border of Arunachal Pradesh. China has provided a network of roads in border areas. This will give an edge to the free movement of Chinese troops in the war.

6. How Pakistan Relates the Kashmir Issue with Nagorno Karabakh.

The disputed area of Nagorno Karabakh led to armed clashes between the troops of Armenia and Azarbaijan. This warfare brought a complete victory for Azarbaijan both on the table and ground. The indirect support of Turkey and Pakistan for Azarbaijan played an important role in defeating Armenia. The Turkish made TB2 drones played an important role in the battlefield and changed the whole scenario of war. Erdogan’s support for Pakistan regarding Kashmir is known to everyone. The bilateral ties between these countries have reached an unprecedented level. The sentiments over Kashmir in the Muslim world started getting stronger after the Modi government in August 2019 unilaterally abrogated Article 370, stripping the state of its special status. Taking in view the results of armed conflict in Nagorno Karabakh Pakistan may be preparing for the same. The frequent meetings among top army generals of all forces along with PM Imran Khan and ISI chief at General Head Quarters (GHQ) in Pakistan give us the hint of preparation on the other side of the border. The joint Air exercises between PAF and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force named ‘Shaheen-IX’ in Sindh Province close to the Indian border gives the clear signal that Pakistan beats the war drums to challenge India on more time.

End Note:

The radical BJP govt at the center gave birth to many new conflicts both inside and outside the country. With new arrangements in Kashmir after the abrogation of article 370 and 35 A India gave Pakistan a chance to get worldwide support at the international level. India’s failure to maintain good relations with China led him to open a new front. The threat of a two-front war is imminent now. Some of the controversial laws such as CAA, NRC,  Farm laws,  etc. distorted the image of India very badly. Modi govt failed to uphold the democratic thread of the country.
Kashmir; India.

Syed Aamir Sharief Qadri is from the Indian state of J&K (now UT). He has completed post-graduation in History from the University of Kashmir and obtained an M.Phil. at Punjabi University Patiala. Also qualified JKSET in 2016.  Currently, he works as a freelance writer for different newspapers as a guest writer.