By Sajjad Shaukat
After learning positive lessons from the past conflicts, especially World War I and World War II, in the modern era of new trends like renunciation of war as a state policy, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development, it is expected that unlike the non-state actors, state actors will behave with responsibility when controversy arises between them or two countries over any issue. Quite contrarily, Indian irresponsible civil and military leaders are still acting upon aggressive policy towards Pakistan and China.
In this connection, Indian present Army Chief General VK Singh has said on October 15, 2010 that China and Pakistan posed a major threat to India’s security, while calling for a need to upgrade country’s defence. Notably, General Singh after taking over the charge on March 30 had said in his first strategic statement, “Indian Army is well prepared to face any threat from China.” Before him, Indian former Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor had vocally revealed on December 29, 2009 that Indian Army “is now revising its five-year-old doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”
While India is no match to China in conventional and nuclear weapons, but the statements of its two army chiefs clearly show that Indian rulers are ready to go even to the extent of war against Beijing. That is why India’s war-mongering policy continues against China.
Notably, in May 1998, when India detonated five nuclear tests, the then Defense Minister George Fernandes had declared publicly that “China is India’s potential threat No. 1.” India which successfully tested missile, Agni-111 in May 2007, has been extending its range to target all the big cities of China.
As regards Indian new military build up against China, on May 31 last year, after 43 years, New Delhi re-opened its Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) airbase in northern Ladakh, which overlooks the strategic Karakoram Pass and is only 8 km south of the Chinese border-Aksai Chin area.
India has also erected more than 10 new helipads and roads between the Sino-Indian border. In this context, Defence Ministry planners are working on building additional airfields and increasing troops—raising two new mountain divisions to be deployed along the 4,057-kilometer Line of Actual Control (LAC). New Delhi has also announced to develop immediately 1,100 kms of strategic roads on the Indo-Tibetan border.
With the help of Israel and America, on 26 February 2008, India conducted its first test of a nuclear-capable missile from an under sea platform after completing its project in connection with air, land and sea ballistic systems.
On May 10, 2009, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta had disclosed that New Delhi “will soon float tenders to acquire six submarines”. Mehta also accused Beijing and explained that the “Indian Navy would keep a close watch on the movements of Chinese submarines which are operating out of an underground base in the South China Sea” and “wish to enter the Indian Ocean”. However, under the pretension of Chinese threat, Washington, New Delhi and Israel are plotting to block the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean for their joint strategic goals.
It is notable that in order to conceal its covert activities, India has always blamed China for backing Maoist uprising. In this respect, instead of addressing the root causes of the Maoist uprising, Indian government has recently intensified its blame game against China, alleging for supplying arms to these insurgents.
Besides, peace-loving country like China, Pakistan is also particular target of India’s aggressive policy. In this regard, during the terrorist’s attack on the Indian parliament and during the Kargil crisis, Indian rulers had left no stone unturned in intimidating Islamabad through war-like approach coupled with concentration of troops on the Pak-Indian border.
It is mentionable that in the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage of November 26, 2008, New Delhi again acted upon aggressive policy. In wake of a continued rising tension between the two nuclear states regarding the culprits of Mumbai tragedy, Pakistan proved itself as a responsible state actor. On February 12, 2009, Islamabad submitted its report to India after lodging FIR against the nine suspects and taking six accused persons into custody. Pakistan’s positive behaviour was greatly appreciated by the foreign officials and media, while on the other side, New Delhi along with its media anchors took it as a surprise because India has, itself, been acting upon a reckless policy regarding Pakistan which is still being pursued through a threatening style.
However, since November 26, 2008, setting aside our ruler’s views that non-state actors were linked to the Mumbai mayhem, India’s blindly rejection of Islamabad’s offer of joint investigation, various contradictory statements of Indian military and civilian leadership such as calling Pakistan the epicenter of terrorism, emphasizing to hand over the fugitives to New Delhi, take action against them inside Pakistan, terrorism is state policy of Islamabad and all options are open for India including military one—deployment of Indian military troops across the international border have shown that India is a reckless state actor. Despite Islamabad’s optimistic reaction, India had not ruled out surgical strikes on selective targets of our country.
The fact of the matter is that Islamabad’s realistic reply has proved, without any doubt, that some non-sovereign entities in Pakistan, India and even in some western countries had planed Mumbai catastrophe, but New Delhi wanted to unilaterally blame Islamabad in that respect in order to conceal Indian culprits because its real anti-Pakistan designs would be exposed through a genuine probe. In that regard, Islamabad also raised 30 questions in the report, reciprocally seeking information about Indian officials involved in Malay villages and Samjotha Express blasts in which Indian mastermind Lt. Col Srikant Purohit was found guilty in targeting Muslims and details on the death of Indian Anti-terrorist Squad Chief Hemant Karkare during Mumbai tragedy.
Question arises as to why there is no international pressure by the sole superpower or UN on Indian government to handing over Lt. Col. Purohit, other similar criminals and especially Ajmal Kasab to Pakistan. And why India avoided joint probe in this serious matter. In fact, India has only been exploiting the Mumbai events to fulfill some covert aims against our country. First, New Delhi wants to divert the attention of US President Barack Obama from the thorny issue of Kashmir as earlier he had recognised an inter-relationship between war against terrorism in Afghanistan and this dispute. Second, India wants to use delaying tactics in relation to the composite dialogue or any result-oriented talk in resolving any issue with Pakistan. Third, New Delhi intends to continue creating unrest in Pakistan by supporting insurgency in Balochistan and Pakistan’s other regions from Afghanistan where it has established a terror-structure with the help of Indian army and intelligence agency, RAW. Fourth, India, with the backing of America, wants to contain China with a view to thwarting Sino-Pak cooperation, especially in the Gwadar seaport.
The most alarming point, however, is that Indian all clandestine designs as part of its aggressive policy are not only directed against Pakistan and China but also against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. There is no doubt India’s aggressive policy will ultimately weaken the federation of India itself as non-state actors or insurgents are present almost in every state of India. Nevertheless such an aggressive policy will further embolden Hindu terrorists who already keep on massacring Muslims and Christians intermittently.
In November 2010, President Obama will visit India to sign a number of agreements with New Delhi. Most likely India is going to ask purchase of C-17 and F35 aircrafts along with latest defence-related equipments from the US. It seems that America will further encourage India in its hot pursuit policy in one or the other way. In fact, while playing an opportunist role, India wants to extract maximum benefits from the US.
It is the right hour that Obama should take cognizance of the fact that Indo-US defence pact is likely to initiate a dangerous arms race in the region as China and Pakistan will be compelled to give similar response to New Delhi. American president should know that Indian regional hegemonic designs are a potent threat to the global peace. US president must take serious notice of Indian gross human rights violations in Kashmir, against Maoists, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. Washington must also force India to resolve Kashmir dispute with Pakistan for the sake of regional peace.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.