POJK: Tackling China

20 Dec 2015 00:48:22


JAMMU, Mar 19: Defence Minister AK Antony yesterday told the Lok Sabha that the Government of India has conveyed its concerns to China about its activities in Pakistan-occupied (Jammu &) Kashmir (POJK) and asked it to cease such activities there. "Government is aware of China undertaking infrastructure projects in PoK which are being executed by Chinese civil companies. Government has conveyed its concerns to China about their activities in PoK and asked them to cease such activities," he said.

China and Pakistan

 Antony also told lawmakers in the lower House that the Government is "not considering withdrawal of troops from Siachen glacier". "Any development/redeployment of troops in the area (Siachen glacial region in Jammu and Kashmir) is contingent upon the threat perception, ground situation, operational and strategic consideration," he said. The stand that Antony took on Siachen glacial region was rational and national.

Siachen is of great strategic importance and India cannot afford to demilitarize it considering the fact that Pakistan has been trying its best to occupy it and jeopardize the strategic concerns of India in the region. The 1999 Pakistani intrusion in Kargil needs to be viewed in this context. The Indian Army had inflicted a crushing defeat on Pakistan and secured the region for India rendering supreme sacrifices.

Over the period this region has become a hub of anti-India activities, with both Pakistan and China working in tandem to weaken the Indian position on the strategic northern frontier. It is heartening to note that the Government of India has gone by the sane counsel of our Army commanders and decided not to demilitarize the region.

However, the stand that Antony took on the Chinese activities in POJK was not inspiring. China has been active in the region, especially Gilgit-Baltistan region, since 1963, when Pakistan violated the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and ceded 2500 square miles of the territory in this region to Beijing as part of Sino-Pakistan Agreement much against the wishes of Mir of Hunza. New Delhi knows all this, as was evident from the Defence Minister's Lok Sabha statement. The issue is not what China has been doing in the POJK. China and Pakistan are undertaking activities in the region on expected lines. The issue is what New Delhi has been doing to put a check on the Pakistani-Chinese activities in the region. New Delhi has been only issuing statements from time to time and that, too, in response to the questions put by the opposition parties, especially the BJP. This is not the way to tackling China and Pakistan.

Now that the Indian Parliament again has adopted an unambiguous resolution on Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, including territories under illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947-1948, it is appropriate time to work out a strategy calculated to retrieve all the illegally occupied areas. The Government of India cannot behave in the fashion it behaved on March 18 on the floor of the Lok Sabha, just three days after the adoption of a historical resolution by the Indian Parliament. The resolution has mandated the Government of India to retrieve the Jammu and Kashmir territories under the Pakistani illegal occupation. Those areas are our areas and it is the fundamental duty of the Government of India to occupy them using all available means.

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