China-Pakistan Anti-India Nexus
Chances of conventional conflict are less compared to the unconventional but we must be prepared for both. The requirement for India to establish a deterrent against irregular/unconventional warfare was never more given the dim prospects of break-up of Ch
Chances of conventional conflict are less compared to the unconventional but we must be prepared for both. The requirement for India to establish a deterrent against irregular/unconventional warfare was never more given the dim prospects of break-up of China-Pakistan anti-India nexus.
SARTAJ AZIZ, NAWAZ SHARIF’S special envoy during his recent visit to New Delhi, met separatist Hurriyat leaders and assured them that Pakistan will continue to support separatists in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Hurriiyat’s fox, Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked Aziz that Pakistan should not only support them politically and diplomatically but also through ‘other means’—read through infiltration, terrorism, financially and arming. Ironically, China too is gaming to somehow wrest J&K from India as part of its strategic plan to march south along the entire Himalayan region, right down to the Indian Ocean.
Initiating the Nexus
How China dovetailed Pakistan into its strategic calculations is indicated by a book that was published in Karachi in the year 2000. In this book, From a Head, through a Head, to Head, the author F.S. Aijazuddin writes, “Chou-en Lai suggested to Ayub Khan that Pakistan should prepare for prolonged conflict with India instead of short-term wars. He advised Pakistan to raise a militia force to act behind enemy [read Indian] lines.” The period referred is early 1960s when Chou-en Lai had visited Pakistan. The animosity China nurtured towards India even then despite all the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai slogans is apparent. Based on China’s advice to raise a militia behind Indian lines, which are the jihadis of today, Pakistan started inducting armed modules pan India in 1992-93, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) started sending cadres to Pakistan for training with mujahedeen, Taliban and Al Qaeda, plus established links with radicals in Bangladesh.
China’s propaganda of ‘peaceful rise of China’ is not only false; the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) rule over People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been abject opposite: ousting nationalists from Manchuria in 1948; crushing 4,000 Tibetans with 30,000 battle hardened communist troops; occupying Sinkiang and shelling Taiwan; occupying 38,000 sq km of Indian territory of Aksai Chin; killing 25-30 million Chinese during the Great Leap; invading India in 1962 and back-stabbing USSR on Cuba; occupying Shaksgam in return to massive arms supply, nuclear technology and ring magnets to kick-start Pakistan’s nuclear programme in contravention of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and rules of National Security Guard (NSG); clashing with India at Nathu La in 1967 and firing on Russian ships on Amur River; fighting USSR in 1969 and jingoism with India in 1971; invading Vietnam in 1979 “to teach Vietnam a lesson”; violent suppression in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Since Mao’s time, China recruited and supported extremist Maoist groups, such as in Nepal and Burma, the New People’s Army of Philippines, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Japanese Red Army and Shining Path in Peru. Today, China supports Indian Maoists and their scripture “Strategy and Tactics for the Indian Revolution” of 2004 has an indelible Beijing flavour.
No amount of denials can obfuscate Pakistan’s continuing quest for an identity. The powerful military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) (both sides of the same coin) have ruthlessly throttled any attempts to democratise the country and achieve an identity of its own. Ayesha Siddiqa wrote in her book Military Inc published in 2007 that the worth of the Pakistani militaryprivate industry-corporate complex was worth $20.7 billon then. This would have increased manifold and there is no way they would let go of this, which is being further concretised through institutionalised radicalisation of Pakistan, breeding hatred against India and Afghanistan, and playing up ethnic violence. Not only is democracy held hostage, any politician or bureaucrat falling out of line faces outright booting.
China views Kashmir as the springboard to the west and access to Indian Ocean through Gwadar, Chabahar and Bandar Abbas. Ironically, the United States while ‘nudging India’ is oblivious to what ‘concessions’ India has given and how has Pakistan responded. India has given numerous concessions to Pakistan, some of which are: India declared a unilateral ceasefire in J&K in 1948 when Pakistani forces were on the run and Pakistan still illegally held one third of Kashmir. As per the UN resolution of 1948, Pakistani security forces were to clear out from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Not only did Pakistan counter the UN mandate by reinforcing its security
Today, China supports Indian Maoists and their scripture “Strategy and Tactics for the Indian Revolution” of 2004 has an indelible Beijing flavour
forces in PoK, it has deliberately altered the demography of PoK. India did not pursue delineation of ceasefire line (CFL) between India-Pakistan under the Karachi Agreement of 1949 beyond NJ 9842 – “northwards” to the Wakhan Corridor, bordering China and Afghanistan; India did not go to UN when Pakistan transferred the Shaksgam Valley of J&K to China; is giving 80 per cent of water to Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty—far in excess to global norms related with the size of the river basin; returned the captured strategic Haji Pir Pass to Pakistan in 1965; treated 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of the 1971 prisoners with respect and returned them relying on verbal promise of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during the Shimla Accord to resolve the Kashmir issue—a promise Bhutto reneged later; with a heart filled with friendship; Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took the bus to Lahore while Musharraf prepared to stab us in Kargil; Indian Army gave formal religious burials to Pakistani soldiers unclaimed and abandoned by Pakistan during the Kargil Conflict, while Pakistani Army brutally tortured, maimed and killed Captain Saurabh Kalia, five other Indian soldiers and Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja; India granted the most favoured nation (MFN) status to Pakistan years ago; India has given investment opportunities to Pakistanis in India. Pakistan’s response has been: breeding terrorism in India; infiltrating terrorists; creating an armed terrorist architecture pan-India since early 1990s; engineering endless terrorist attacks/acts in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Gujarat, other parts of India including IC-814 hijack, attack on Parliament, 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, etc; refusing to act against Pakistani perpetrators of 26/11; nurturing, patronising and masterminding Lakshkar-e-Toiba (LeT) acts against India; using the Haqqani network to target Indians and Indian interests in Afghanistan; pumping drugs and fake currency (minted in Pakistani Government facilities) into India; organising open rallies in Pakistan professing balkanisation of India, collecting of funds and recruitment for jihad against India under the very nose of the administration and with open support of military veterans in connivance of the ISI and mili- tary; refusal to acknowledge continuation of the ‘Karachi Project’ and other Pakistani complicity as disclosed by Abu Jundal; funding anti-India terrorists openly –as done in Pakistan’s Punjab, etc.
India permitted Sartaj Aziz meet Hurriyat separatists in New Delhi despite the fact that Aziz was Pakistan’s Foreign Minister when Pakistan undertook massive infiltrations in Kargil region during 1999. He travelled to China to drum up support against India during the conflict, sought support from Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) also during Kargil conflict, labeled India of having “overreacted” and later claimed in the media that Pakistan had achieved its aims in the Kargil conflict by “forcing Kashmir dispute to the top of the global agenda”. More significantly, Pakistan has been ignoring the systematic slaughter of Shias and Ahmadiyas in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and opened the area to Chinese in a bid to put a lid on the unrest. In the petition dated July 11, 2011, addressed to the UN Secretary General by Abdul Hamid Khan, Chairman Balawaristan National Front (BNF) in Pakistan and China occupied Gilgit-Baltistan to ‘Save the Innocent People of Gilgit-Baltistan from the Gallows of Pakistan’, written on behalf of some two million inhabitants of GB, Abdul Hamid Khan categorically stated, “Pakistan’s current role in Gilgit-Baltistan is a clear violation of UN… The people of Gilgit Baltistan are the most sufferers and their fundamental, legal, ethnic, cultural, economic and democratic rights are being denied. India has included this region into its Constitution… Pakistan has denied all fundamental, legal, ethnic, cultural, economic and democratic rights for the last 63 years… Pakistan has multiplied its troops thousand times and civil, political and fundamental rights have been snatched by its military, intelligence agencies and religious fundamentalists. Pakistan has continuously been hoodwinking international community by giving different names, designations and packages to its unlawful occupation... The people of Gilgit Baltistan are not citizens of Pakistan as per the UN Resolutions of August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949, and also as per the constitutions of Pakistan and India. Abdul Hamid Khan’s petition includes an exhaustive list of scores of individuals who have been given death sentences and life imprisonment (some already executed and some awaiting execution) without giving them access to the High Court and Supreme Court, so that nobody opposes the occupation of Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan.
The results of the first ever poll on both sides of the line of control in J&K conducted by Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatam House), UK, in conjunction with King’s College during 2009-10 (conducted on behest of former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf and financed by Muammar Gaddafi’s son) bringing out that 98 per cent of people in J&K do not wish to be part of Pakistan and 50 per cent of people in PoK do not wish to remain with Pakistan. But the fact remains that Pakistan’s foreign policy with its attenuated strategy of terror is evolved and controlled by the Pakistani Military over which Nawaz Sharif has absolutely no lien.
Not only do China and Pakistan pose a joint conventional threat to India, they want to break up India internally too. When ULFA camps were routed by the RBA from Bhutan, training and arming of ULFA was organised on Chinese soil. China was linked to Al Qaeda and Taliban even prior to 2006. China has provided advisors and weapons to Pakistan Taliban. The Indian Mujahedeen (IM) is the creation of ISI. China has been tacitly supporting Pakistan’s anti-India jihad, one reason being Pakistan’s promise to suppress Uighur separatist including some 320 East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) cadres from China, hiding in Pakistan. Colluding with terrorists in India’s Northeast and in accordance the China-Pakistan plan of forming a Strategic United Front Bangladesh and Nepal, is actively being pursued. Little external support to Maoists is a misnomer and being played down by the government. LeT (covert arm of ISI) representatives have been attending Maoists meetings and ISI is supplying arms. China has reportedly gifted an AK-47 manufacturing facility to Kachin rebels in North Myanmar (United war army of Myanmar) and the weapons are flowing to the People’s Liberation Army in Manipur and Maoists. China is also arming and training the United Liberation Front of Assam and Chinese nationals with fake Indian identities, having attempted contacting the the National Socialist Council of Nagaland. Joint training of Indian insurgents is being organised in northern Myanmar. AK-47’s and Uzi’s are flowing in. The Chinese, according to a national television channel, have also begun to supply sophisticated signal equipment with encryption capabilities to the Maoists. The recovery of 1.5 kg uranium IED in Assam earlier this year is ominous. There is every possibility of China pumping in shoulder fired air defence missiles to the Maoists under the garb of deniability, similar to having supplied them to Shia insurgents in Iraq, Taliban and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Myanmar. China has even supplied helicopters fitted with air-to-air missiles to UWSA in February-March this year.
Not only is China in illegal occupation of considerable Indian Territory (mainly Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley), more significantly Chinese claim lines have been expanding over the years. To top this are the periodic intrusions getting deeper and in wilful defiance of all the previous joint agreements: “Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas” signed on September 7, 1993, another “Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, the Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in India-China Border Areas” signed on April 11, 2005, and the “Agreement on Establishment of a Working Mecha- nism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs” signed on January 17, 2012. It would be no surprise if China violates the recently signed BDCA agreement too as China appears to be following the ‘carrot and stick policy’ against India.
China’s expanded claim to entire Arunachal Pradesh (sprung as late as 2005) as South Tibet is highly preposterous. Coming to the claim of South Tibet, if China wants to go back in history, then it cannot go back to a period it desires and might as well go back all the way. Indian territories were once right up to the Hindukush Mountains, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were part of India and portions of Tibet too were annexed by India. British Indian troops were holding Yatung but it does not mean that we start claiming all this territory. In the seventh century, Tibet was an empire, spanning the high heartland and deserts of the north-west, reaching from the borders of Uzbekistan to Central China, from halfway across Xinjiang, an area larger than the Chinese heartland. Indeed in 763, Tibetan Army briefly captured the Chinese capital Chang-an (today’s Xian and much later it was the Mongols who later ruled China then occupied Tibet. So should Mongolia claim Tibet? Historically, until the early 13th century, China had no claims on Tibet. Indeed the opposite applied: Tibet ruled half of the present day China, but looked to India for its most significant influence—Buddhism. So on what basis does China claim authority over Tibet?
The biggest threat to India is the ChinaPakistan anti-India nexus that will enlarge further with China wanting to establish military bases in North Waziristan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan likely leasing Gilgit-Baltistan to China for 50 years, the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and Baluchistan likely to become a Chinese administered province by 2030. Chinese state TV has been showing J&K as part of Pakistan:
We need to heed Chanakya, who in Arthashastra had said that your neighbour is your natural enemy but more importantly went on in great detail to describe how to deal with neighbours. Chances of conventional conflict are less compared to the unconventional but we must be prepared for both. The requirement for India to establish a deterrent against irregular/unconventional warfare was never more given the dim prospects of breakup of China-Pakistan anti-India nexus, China giving up covertly marginalising India and the Pakistani Military-ISI allowing IndiaPakistan peace. Additionally, there must be frank and open dialogue on the issue with China including on Pakistan’s generation of global terrorism. With CCP continuing in power, continuation of erstwhile China policies may not easily change but the hope is that there is realisation within China that Pakistan is fast becoming a liability.
Dr Manmohan Singh with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, in Beijing