Pre­par­ing for the Worst

Southasia - - 13 -

Are­cent re­port coau­thored by lead­ing In­dian pol­icy ex­perts, diplo­mats and mil­i­tary per­son­nel, in­clud­ing Shyam Saran, for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary and spe­cial en­voy to Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh, con­tends that In­dia can­not “en­tirely dis­miss the pos­si­bil­ity of a ma­jor mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh.” The in­de­pen­dent re­port aims to ex­plore In­dia’s for­eign pol­icy vis-à-vis an emerg- ing China. The re­port hints at a pos­si­ble Chi­nese mil­i­tary of­fen­sive and rec­om­mends “a mix of de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties” as a pos­si­ble In­dian re­ac­tion to re­store the sta­tus quo. In terms of ge­o­graph­i­cally lo­cat­ing a pos­si­ble at­tack, the re­port claims that the most likely ar­eas would be those parts of the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol where both sides have dif­fer­ent no­tions of where the LAC actu- ally runs. It is also rec­om­mended that In­dia pos­si­bly cre­ate an in­sur­gency in Chi­nese oc­cu­pied ar­eas to counter a Chi­nese of­fen­sive and push it back. A need to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines, es­tab­lish a Mar­itime Com­mis­sion and ur­gently ex­pand naval pres­ence in the In­dian Ocean was also dis­cussed.

Ti­tled ‘Non-align­ment 2.0: A For­eign and Strate­gic Pol­icy for the 21st cen­tury’, the re­port was un­veiled at a panel dis­cus­sion in which Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser, Shiv Shankar Menon and his im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sors MK Narayanan and Bra­jesh Mishra were also present.

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