Along With A Long Haul On LAC, Why Not Negotiate A Permanent International Border With Tibetan Government in Exile
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces Veteran
During General Sunderji’s time there was a Forward Posture implemented for the Indian Army. It was a super move. However down the years due to lack of a coordinated politico military policy at the highest levels of Government, things started getting neglected. Not only the forward posture was not followed up with development of rail, road and other infrastructure but even those built on insistence of Sunderji went to ruin.
Things took a turn once again only after 2014 when a deliberate decision was taken to ramp up the speed at which infrastructure were coming up along the Himalayan borders.
India has recently substantially reinforced its border areas with speed and has prepared itself for the long haul at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in East Ladakh region where it is engaged in a military stand-off with China. Both the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have responded in a coordinated manner. Even the Navy is pitching in with certain force multipliers for recce and surveillance.
Everything that is needed by GOC 14 Corps for defence of Ladhak will be provided and even more than that for any offensive as required to take the battle into Tibet. Such force level and equipment has already reached the region to face any eventuality that might arise in case China decides to up the ante and adopt an aggressive stand.
“When we say we are ready, it is not a statement that we are making in thin air. Our ground situation, military wise, is very formidable now, something which China too has realised,” an official source said.
Media is not given access to everything to avoid jingoism and other related situations that might decrease the elbow space for our diplomats who are already in discussion with their Chinese counterparts to defuse the crisis. In situations like this.
The official added that two battalions of Chinese soldiers were camping on the Chinese side of LAC, while at least six more battalions, which were well inside the Chinese side and at a “good” distance from the LAC, have also been stationed by Chinese military strategists. These six battalions are accompanied by a “substantial” numbers of artillery guns, tanks and BMPs.
According to officials, because of the large number of troops and armaments that have been stationed by India on its side, the logical conclusion, in case the Chinese decide to intrude into Indian territory, will be a massive flare-up, which then might take days to get resolved.
“We are not going to take the first step, but we will also not be the first one to step back in case the situation comes to that. This confidence comes from the resources that we have at our hand now,” the official said.
The official said that “independent” satellite images being used by certain media organisations to give the message that China has entered Indian territory were “erroneous and based on lack of understanding of the ground situation”.
“The LAC demarcation is not very clear in many parts of this huge region and it becomes difficult even for the men from both the sides, who are on the ground, to make a judgement call on which side is which. And that is also one of the reasons for the current situation. The Chinese have stationed their troops and machine near the LAC, no one is denying that. However, what these media outlets are describing as India’s side to substantiate their theory that China has entered our territory, is in fact the Chinese side of the LAC. The satellite images that they are using do not and cannot show the border demarcation. So how are they possibly deciding who has encroached and who has not?” the official asked.
According to him, Indian troops on the ground were acting in a “restrained” manner so as not to vitiate the situation. “We have increased our patrolling in the region, which anyway was more substantial than China even in normal times, to make sure we get no ‘surprises’ from anywhere,” the official added.
In case Chinese do not respond positively to our diplomatic moves then we too can introduce some elements of uncertainty. That is, to start with, a few ruling party Members of Parliament can approach the Tibetan Government in Exile to negotiate a permanent international boundary between India and Tibet for future …..when Tibet gains freedom once again.