PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
It is a day-light fact that at presentChinais the only force which can guarantee the balance of power as well as peace and prosperity in the South-Asian region. With the increasing influence and interference ofUSAin the South-Asian region and after the rapidly growing US-Indiacloseness, world is looking towardsChinafor a more vibrant and lively role to play. Even inPakistanpeople are expecting the role of a saviour fromChina. Such expectations are no doubt generating an air of depression and despair in the countries likeIndiawhich considerChinathe most severe threat to their hegemonic designs in the region. To minimize Chinese importance in the region and to create misunderstandings betweenChinaandPakistanas well as to defame Pak-China relations, Indian propaganda machine is trying to do all the best possible. The recent propaganda regarding the presence of Chinese troops in Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Biltistan province is also a part of this fruitless and futile effort. Indian media is describing the so-called presence of Chinese troops in AJK and Gilgit Biltistan province as a grave threat to Indian security. The matter of the fact is that these so-called Chinese troops are not a part of the Chinese army; they are simply the Chinese engineers and survey technicians who have joined hands with the Pakistan Frontier Works Organization FWO to rebuild and repair portions ofKarakoram Highway, damaged due to recent floods and earthquakes. It is something unintelligible how these engineers and survey technicians could be a threat to the Indian security. It is something very ironical that on the basis of this baseless allegation,Indiahas planned to recruit 100,000 soldiers over the next five years to deploy them on Indo-China border and Indian Occupied Kashmir. It is also in the air that Indian army is planning to deploy two independent armoured brigades in Uttarkhand and Ladakh areas along with raising a mountain strike corps and four divisions.
Daily Bhasker of India has recently published an analysis which says, “Chinahas steadily increased its military presence along its border with Indiaover the past couple of months. In the first week of November, there were reports that the army would recruit 100,000 soldiers over the next five years and four new divisions would be raised along the Indo-Sino border. Also, the defence ministry has approved a modernization plan worth thousands of crores. The Indian Army does not want a 1962 repeat. It has decided to strengthen its aerial surveillance capability by inducting at least 114 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH).” The statement of India’s Minister of State for Defence M. M Pallam Raju is also very remarkable in this context. He said talking to media reporters at a function in Manekshaw Centre New Delhi on 2nd of November, “We are keen on securing borders and we will take steps to do so. Wherever we feel there is a threat, adequate measures will be taken.”
Such military expansions and preparations must certainly be a source of serious concern for bothPakistanandChina. If these military extensions are simply the result of some fear or fright regardingPakistanandChina, the two countries must try to clear their position; but the situation demands a serious reaction from both the countries if these military expansions are the result of some hegemonic urge or political ambition to dominate the region. In the recent past years,Indiahas earned a repute that of a country which is spending more on weapons than on food for her starving people. Ignoring the ever increasing hunger of people begging for a morsel of food,Indiais wasting huge amounts on military build up and purchase of sophisticated arsenals from all over the world. Indian schemes to stockpile sophisticated weapons fromFrance,Israel,RussiaandUSAmust be an eye-opener to the world peace makers. It is a very strange contradiction that on one hand Indian leadership forcefully campaigns for regional peace and on the other hand it openly states thatIndiawill defend her national interests beyond South Asia andMiddle Eastat every cost. It seems thatIndiais facing the worst security threats at the hands of her neighbouring countries. Indian blames and allegations againstPakistanandChinaalso seem a part of these so-called apprehensions. In factIndiais cunningly projecting her threat perceptions and security concerns simply to mislead the world. The only aim is to pile up more and more lethal weapons and win the sympathies ofUSAby portraying herself as the most ‘endangered country’.Pakistan’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’Indiahas failed to address her domestic social problems like extreme poverty and religious extremism. Every day Indian newspapers are replete with the news of poor farmers committing suicide, the human rights violations of the low caste Hindu untouchables and massacre of the Muslims in the name of religion but the Indian policy-makers are always busy in singing the song of their escalating economy and tense security atmosphere along the borders neglecting all their domestic problems.
he writer is a Pakistan based analyst on defence and strategic affairs.