15 June, 2021

Opinion | Modi Government's J-K Gambit Has Had Pakistan, China And Nepal Riled

China’s Asia policy rests on its desire to keep alliances from building amongst its regional rivals, writes former diplomat KC Singh

Opinion | Modi Government's J-K Gambit Has Had Pakistan, China And Nepal Riled

The standoff over Chinese intrusions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) had simmered since early May. Some analysts using private satellite pictures revealed that Chinese ingress was seen in areas like Galwan valley—Indian control over which was never disputed—or even deeper on the north shore of Pangong Tso, the world’s highest saltwater lake. Troops, larger than normal in number, were also observed all summer patrolling the LAC in contested areas.

The Indian government kept the imbroglio quiet, to avoid triggering jingoism in both nations. Existing methodology and mechanisms under LAC management agreements of 1993, 1996 and 2013 were used. On June 6, the Indian corps commander met his counterpart and the initial public comments were optimistic. But things went horribly wrong on June 15 when troops of 16 Bihar Regiment, led by their commanding officer (CO), proceeded to occupy an area vacated by PLA. They were attacked by the Chinese with improvised weapons. Col B. Santosh Babu, the CO, and 19 colleagues were brutally killed. The external affairs...

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