It is no longer Pakistan seeking Chinese support for its adventurism as much as it is the other way around, says Retired Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain.
In an article published by the Indian Express General Hasnain argued that the mutuality of interests has increased and military coordination between China and Pakistan has become a larger part of the overall strategy.
China may force further escalation this season depending upon how the world responds to its expansionism. Yet it could also adopt a posture that prepares it, along with Pakistan, towards a future "pincer approach" in Ladakh, according to him.
This does not presuppose the limitation of Chinese intent to just Ladakh Arunachal, Sikkim and the Central Sector very much under the scanner as part of the expanded collusive strategy. However, it is Ladakh where the effect is intended most and it is there that the pincer approach may prove more challenging for India.
Currently, India may not be optimally prepared for such a contingency but the Chinese may not be either. This is because they have tried setting the stage too early in their eagerness to spring a surprise. In turn, the Chinese could be surprised.
That is where Pakistan comes in as a force multiplier to keep the options open as far as timing is concerned the current campaigning season or a postponed one. In postponing, the Chinese will seek greater Pakistani activity in J&K and Ladakh, including attempts to keep the Line of Control alive along with terror in the hinterland to dilute Indian optimization in Ladakh. The Line of Control (LoC) is a military control line between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Assuming that confrontation with the Sino-Pak combine is inevitable now or later, one of the ways for India to offset this is to project sufficient capability ... China's success or failure in such adventurism will set the course of its future strategy against its multiple adversaries. That is the psyche that India must exploit to prevent escalation and win this and impending standoffs without fighting. This needs a rapid and all-out national effort with highest priority accorded to it, including budgeting. China has made the major mistake of creating a face-off that it thought it could win without fighting but it is now mired in a situation that it did not think through.
Extending this face-off will be a logistics nightmare for both countries. On its part, India cannot afford to focus only on the northern borders. A firm and full strategy to deal with Pakistan in all contingencies has now become imperative.
Standoff in Ladakh continues
Meanwhile, the impasse in Eastern Ladakh continues as 'disengagement on the LoC is an intricate process', The Indian Express reported Monday.
Four rounds of marathon meetings between the XIV Corps commander and his Chinese counterpart, the commander of the South Xinjiang Military District, have not exactly resulted in a great agreement on both sides withdrawing to and occupying pre-April positions. The talks are a tedious, prolonged process.
One reason for the long duration of the meetings is the need to translate everything. It seems the Chinese are playing for time. These are their typical tactics.
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