In a startling revelation Indian intelligence officials and political leaders have said that the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel deployed along the border with China were “pushed back, kilometre by kilometre” till India “lost” almost 35 square kilometres of territory, according to a report in Indian news portal The Wire.
The report is based on conversations with “a cross section of senior officials and political leaders to make sense of the government’s approach” on the latest stand-off with China.
The Wire reported that China had opened six fronts at Galwan Valley, Pangong, Demchok, Naku La and 14 km east of Doklam in Bhutanese territory starting third week of April, when the snow started melting.
The report also notes the alarming failure of Indian diplomacy – which among its other advantages, had for long helped India evade criticism over its actions in Kashmir – in the South Asian subcontinent.
The report quoted a senior official to say that: “China has assessed that we are the weakest ever right now in terms of friends – especially after the flare up with Nepal – the economy, political resolve and internal coherence. Hence the aggression”.
Speculation within the Indian intelligence community was that China’s plans possibly include “compromising” the Indian presence from the last demarcated point on the India-Pakistan Line of Control, up the Siachen Glacier to the Karakoram Pass, the report stated. “When India moves troops to this section, as it has, the Pakistan Army is expected to begin pin pricks, thus opening up a challenge for India on two fronts,” the report further stated.
The report points out the stark contrast in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public handling of the Balakote airstrikes in Pakistan, when he “went on a public relations offensive” to show how the Modi government took an aggressive stand against the neighbouring rival, and his complete silence over disputes with China.
“Modi and his security establishment led by national security advisor Ajit Doval appear to be fumbling for a response as China ratchets up its confrontation with India,” the report states.
Quoting sources in the BJP the report says that the recent article by party’s leader Ram Madhav on Kashmir – stating that it was time to “allow” political activity and high speed in Kashmir – was an attempt by the Modi government to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir before tension with Pakistan and China mounts.