During his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Narendra Modi had provided his opinion on what he thought was a proxy war being waged by Pakistan through militants and repeated violations of ceasefire. He had stated that the main reason of such acts was the fact that Pakistan knew it would be unable to engage India in a face-to-face fight. In fact, there had been a considerable amount of ceasefire violations in the last few days that had put some serious question mark over the possibility of Indo-Pak talks in the near future.
India calls off secretary-level talks with Pakistan
The ceasefire violations, it seems, have only provided a background to what has unfolded with respect to the August 25 secretary-level talks between both the countries that has now been cancelled. The immediate reason was the meeting held between Pakistan’s envoy and the separatist elements of Kashmir, despite India’s warning. Thanks to the tough stance now it seems that the chances of talks between the two countries happening any time soon are pretty less.
As far as India is concerned, it has always been deeply perturbed by the meetings held between separatists in Kashmir and authorities in Pakistan. Arun Jaitley, the Union finance and defence minister, has stated that Pakistan’s latest acts are a testimony to the fact that the powers that be over there are not exactly in favour of fruitful and cooperative relations with India in the long term. It is hard to disagree with him. After all, there have indeed been n-number of ceasefire violations from Pakistan’s side and the authorities over there have been helpless in stopping that.
Pakistan considers worthy of raking up the Kashmir topic every now and then for its perceived reason that it is concerned with what it calls the human rights violations being perpetrated against the Muslims in the State by Indian soldiers. With all due respect to Pakistani people it must be said again and again that it is without ground for them to rush every now and then to international forums and other third parties seeking out support over Kashmir. Kashmir is basically India’s internal matter.
What the Pak envoy did the other is like an Indian envoy going and meeting people in the troubled areas of Pakistan such as Balochistan and the Northwest Frontier Province. Such an act would be a complete disregard of the sovereignty of Pakistan as a state and a denial of its right to govern itself to the best of its capabilities. What the Pak envoy did is almost the same.
What has further irked India is the fact that Nawaz Sharif had taken part in Modi’s swearing-in ceremony and now such an action being taken by its envoy so soon goes against that spirit. He had in fact been asked to steer clear of the Hurriyat group. India needs to be congratulated for taking a firm stand and letting its neighbour know this country cannot be taken for granted.
Chinese incursions in Ladakh again, no solution yet
Chinese army is at it again! This time they have entered almost 30 km into what is regarded as Indian territory at Burtse in northern Ladakh. This was the same place where they had pitched their tents during 2013 and that had led to a tense standoff that went on for 3 weeks. The members of the People’s Liberation Army had been seen by a patrol team of Indian soldiers when they were shifting their base to the same area. It is located at a height of 17,000 feet. It has been stated that the soldiers noticed them after walking almost 2.5 km from their base.
However, as has been stated in the Standard Operating Procedures, which has been drafted of late, they did not take any action as such and came back to their base. All this happened on August 17. When the Indian troops went for a patrol on the morning of August 18 they saw that the Chinese soldiers were staying put in the same area and were also carrying flags, which implied that the area occupied by them was Chinese territory and the Indian soldiers should go back from there.
The Indian soldiers had been accompanied by a Quick Reaction Team that was unable to achieve much progress since the PLA soldiers were not ready to move an inch. The Indian troops were left with no option but to return to their base and inform their superiors about the developments. However, strangely enough, this incident has been denied by Colonel SD Goswami, the Army spokesperson from Udhampur. He has agreed with the fact that since there is no proper demarcation of the international border there have been certain instances of transgression every now and then.
Well, this is an interesting statement in that the Indian army may too have been guilty of crossing the border at times. Coming back to Chinese army, Goswami has ruled out the possibility of PLA personnel crossing over into Indian territory as such. The Colonel has also stated that through several well-established procedures such as border officers and flag meetings as well as diplomatic avenues like Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, and Working Mechanism on Consultation India discusses the issue of border transgressions from the Chinese side and this happens on a regular basis. He has also stated that in these meetings the provisions in different agreements are used in order to arrive at a definite consensus.
It is strange that in spite of being independent for more than 6 decades India is yet to sort out its border with China and come to an agreement that is mutually agreeable. What the authorities perhaps do not understand is that by this unnecessary stretching of such a critical matter they are endangering the lives of the very people, who are supposed to guard the country’s frontiers. In fact, in the past, athletes from Arunachal Pradesh have suffered as a result of border disputes between both the countries. The War of 1962 is perhaps still fresh in their memory. It is time that the powers that be acted quickly and brought about a solution to this crisis at the earliest.