Humiliation in Ladakh causes split in Indian govt

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Salahuddin Haider

THE humiliation
which Indians suf
fered at the hands of Chinese in Eastern Ladakh has begun to how its effects as a split seems evident between the government in New Delhi, and the Indian army chief General Navarane, and the National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Dogal, which is likely to widen in days to come. If some heads start rolling, it won’t be surprise as Prime Minister Nirender Modi and some of his close aides are already under tremendous pressure from Indian media, public, and parliamentarians.
Indian televisions monitored here, were vehement in their criticism of the advices or the assessment given by General Navarane and Dogal to the government about national security. The killing of an Indian colonel and 20 Indian soldiers at the hands of the Chinese in Ladakh, while another about 35 taken prisoners, had had enough of embarrassment for Indian prime minister, who is yet to offer a satisfactory explanation. India and China are both nuclear neighbours, and world’s most populated countries.
But they have border dispute since the beginning. While Chian considers Ladakh as its territory, and after noticing Indians building roads for military movements in the area, was forced to send its troops to prevent Indians from doing so. Flag meetings took place, but without result. China had already advanced to 28 miles of land in Ladakh, while it claims upto 92 miles. Washington Post reported that the Indians first tried to hide their losses to ‘mere 3 injured’. But then had to admit 20 soldiers, including a colonel had been killed in clashes, most hand to hand fight, says the Washington Post report. Dogal as National Security Chief has been under pressure for his inputs about Indian defence, and now the army chief too is being held responsible for failing to assess the security situation and guide his government about it.
Western Press is now holding Modi responsible for human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir whose special status was wrapped up last year, and made part of the Indian mainland. Now that clashes between Indian and Chinese troops have taken place, the Western Media has begun to focus attention on the situation. President Trump did offer to media to end the conflict, but the warmth, witnessed in the past in US-Indian relationship, looks like waning.
Whether it is due to Trumps internal trouble over blacks issue, which has engulfed the entire country now, or due to lack of communication caused by Corona, or maybe because Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has very successfully during his meetings with Trump and telephone talks, perhaps has succeeded in neutralizing him considerably. Scanning through the history, it was clear that no Indian soldiers have been killed in clashes on the frontier between the two countries since 1975, and no casualties of this magnitude have occurred since 1967.
The world’s two most populous nations, India and China are both rising powers that view each other warily. Apart from a war in 1962, they have tended to resolve periodic flare-ups along the border through negotiation. But the situation appears different now. Chinese seem determined to get their territories back. They have modern war equipment now and troops concentration has increased.
Indians, aware of the fact that open confrontation with Chinese, would cost them heavily, have taken to negotiations Analysts say that Chinese troops have also moved to establish a presence in four areas claimed by India near the unofficial border in Ladakh, leading to a tense standoff involving thousands of troops from both countries. Senior military officials have held meetings in the area to try to resolve the issue.
Col. Zhang Shuli, a spokesman for the Chinese military, said there had been a ‘fierce physical conflict, causing casualties.’ He accused India of crossing the unofficial border between the two countries—known as the ‘Line of Actual Control’—to ‘launch a provocative attack.’ With the killing of 20 of its soldiers, India faces a ‘serious crisis,’ said Ajai Shukla, an Indian defense analyst and former army officer who has written extensively about the recent tensions with China. Most of the lengthy frontier between India and China is neither marked in real life nor delineated on any maps shared by the two countries.
Instead, the Indian and Chinese armies send patrols up to what they claim is the Line of Actual Control and then retreat. Altercations have ensued but rarely serious ones. What occurred last month is qualitatively different, analysts say. Instead of expanding patrol arcs deeper into Indian-claimed areas as they have done in the past, Chinese troops have ‘taken physical possession by occupying territory,’ said Ashley Tellis, a former senior George W. Bush administration official and longtime India expert.