Pak-China cooperation poses challenge for India

By Brij Bhardwaj. Dated: 10/22/2013 12:50:03 AM

During months of September, October and November, the line of control between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir always becomes active as during these months there are crops standing in the fields providing cover for all kinds of clandestine activities including infiltration. Very soon with the first snow fall most of the routes used by infiltrators will be closed making border crossing almost impossible.
It is also the time when there is transfer of troops and all new formations like to send across a message that they intend to dominate the area and will not be a soft target. This leads to aggressive patrolling by both sides. The major change this year is that generally such activities take place along the line of control and not international border between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan which was seldom crossed or violated except in the event of open hostilities or war.
This year, however, more violations are taking place across the international border .One of the explanations offered is that troops along the line of control are more alert and better prepared to deal with any intrusion from across the border or attempt at infiltration. This was shown up in case of attack on Samba where an armoured brigade was attacked and heavy causalities were inflicted which included second in command of the base. The armoured brigade which was found totally unprepared to deal with the attack had to depend on specialised formations to deal with elements that had come from across the border.
More so another theory doing rounds is that Jihadi elements in Pakistan feel the new Government in Pakistan may seek peace with India as local insurgency has been effectively dealt with by Indian security forces and unless they are reinforced with elements from Pakistan or Afghans, the insurgency would loose its teeth as such some desperate attempts are being made to infiltrate. Irrespective of the motives behind current attempts to create fresh tensions along the line of control, it is no secret that elections time in the country and is always the time to increase tensions on the border.
There is no doubt that Indian army which has been guarding the border along the LOC will be able to deal with the situation. As they have done in the past. Infiltration on limited scale or on a large scale has been the regular feature of the border for over fifty years. The only change has been the scale of the same changes from time to time. Should India raise the stakes by breaking all contacts with Pakistan at this juncture or keep a window open so that the sober elements in Pakistan get a chance to restrore normal relations between the two countries is a decision to he made by leadership in Delhi. It is not easy in a election year, even though Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has made lot of investment in improving relations bwteen the two countries.
In the meantime Army needs to put its own House in order. The recent incidents of indiscipline leading to clashes between officers and men are pointers to stress that has been created by posting large number of men on the border and subjecting them to long spells of hardship. The controversy between the former Army Chief Gen V.K Singh and Defence Ministry and subsequent disclosures by him about payments to Ministers in Jammu and Kashmir Government have not created conditions for harmony between State Government and Army.
More so stewardship of defence Ministry by A.K Anthony, popularly also known as St Anthony who in his anxiety to maintain his reputation for honesty and integrity has created a situation where all three arms have been deprived of essential equipment which could not be acquired because of slow procedures followed, frequent black listing of frms and cancellation of orders . A time has come when India, one of the top buyers of defence equipment is able to streamline its procedures.
During this period we have neither been able to avoid scams in defence purchase, nor get the best price, as well as being subjected to delays. It is no secret that India is not able to procure any item in less than five years and by the time it arrives it becomes obsolete. It is also no secret that all agreements to manufacture equipment indigenously lead to heavy cost escalation. The best examples of it were attempt to manufacture transport planes like Avro and Dornier in India. Recent attempts at cooperation and collaboration between Pakistan and China should act s as a wake up call for India to fill the gaps in our defence preparedness. On ground, in air and at Sea.



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