China trains Pakistan troops: Is India looking at its worst defence nightmare ever?
India’s worst nightmare situation of a military gang-up between Pakistan and China, the only two foreign countries which have fought wars with independent India, is threatening to come true.
This writer had put his finger on this possible dreadful scenario here and here.
A news agency report on 14 November said the Chinese troops are training Pakistan Army personnel right across the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir. The agency report, purportedly based on a report submitted to the Narendra Modi government by the intelligence wing of the Border Security Force (BSF), says that the Chinese troops have been training Pakistani troops in “weapon handling” techniques opposite the Rajouri sector of International Border and that Pakistani army units have taken control from Pakistan Rangers of several forward posts in Rajasthan’s Sriganga sector in Rajasthan. The details of the agency report can be seen here.
The above report confirms and corroborates several things that this writer has been shrieking about of late.One, while the Modi government has no illusions about the real intentions of Pakistan, it is the role of China that is of utmost importance. China was absent in the first India-Pakistan military conflict in 1947-48 (as Communist China was born only in 1949) and had played a supine role during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak Wars. But the Chinese attitude may change.
Implications: Any military move of Pakistan, particularly hereon, has to be carefully sifted and analyzed from the inevitable Chinese angle. The presence of some twenty thousand Chinese troops in PoK is a stark reminder of the Chinese intentions and capabilities.
Two, China’s real intentions vis a vis India are not above board. China may indulge in every possible way to gang up covertly with Pakistan against India while keeping its own hands clean. In a way, China is already doing that for years by its stapled visas policy. While China gives stapled visas to Indians domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir (and also Arunachal Pradesh), it gives regular visas to people domiciled in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, thus taking a stand on the India-Pakistan dispute over the Kashmir issue.
Implications: The above-mentioned news agency report is nothing but a direct corroboration of the pincer strategy that China and Pakistan may be planning vis a vis India. It means that the Modi government will have to take every goody-goody word of China not just with a pinch of salt but with a bucketful of salt. China pulled the trigger against India in 1965 but that was a different era. None of the three Asian countries being discussed here – India, Pakistan and China – was a declared nuclear weapon power; but now all three are.
Three, China may not pull the trigger at India by itself but instead use Pakistan for the dirty job.
Implications: This is the best possible military and strategic tactic of China. Why put its own military boots on the Indian ground when it can achieve the same, or probably better results from the Chinese perspective, by using the Pakistanis as pawns on the larger strategic chess board?
The above scenario raises multiple questions about how India should deal with this pincer strategy of China and Pakistan.
Mercifully, winter has already set in and Pakistan cannot infiltrate its merchants of death into the Indian territory at will, the upcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir notwithstanding.
China has been cleverly keeping the Indians bogged down with zero progress on the boundary dispute – the only grouse for which China can “punish” India. Important Chinese leaders have hinted last year (when the new regime took over in Beijing) that an out-of-the-box solution to the vexed Sino-Indian boundary dispute may be forthcoming. But nothing has actually happened.
While India has always been wary of the China-Pakistan nexus, it is here and now that New Delhi needs to be alert.
Diplomatically, China has been all sugar and honey to India. But getting to know the real intentions of China is as tedious a task as reading the reading the Chinese tea leaves.
India must not forget that China is the land of Sun Tzu, the famous military general, strategist and philosopher and China’s Chanakya who penned his thoughts in his immortal work “Art of War” some 2500 years ago.
The Chinese India-specific strategy may be hidden in the following quotes from “Art of War”.
– The e supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
– Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
– Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
– Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
– The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.
– To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.