That China, like Pakistan, is India’s hostile neighbor is not a secret. Its activities since 1959 or to be more exact since March 2, 1963, in the India’s Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947-48, have been known the world over and comprehensively documented. India has protested umpteen times to tell the world that both China and Pakistan have been hobnobbing with each other to weaken the Northern Frontiers of India, the lifeline of the country. The 1962 China-India war and what happened during those bad days and the Chinese frequent incursions in Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir are also not a secret. Also, who doesn’t know how China stabbed India from the back by exploiting the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai chant.
The truth, in short, is that China has been at regular intervals creating problems for India in Jammu & Kashmir – sometimes in collaboration with Pakistan and sometimes without involving Pakistan.
The construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Jammu & Kashmir territories in the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region and the fact that China is spending Rs 50 billion Dollars on this project is another point of conflict between India and China. India considers these activities in its own territories as a security threat, but the unmindful, uncouth and expansionist China not paying any heed to India’s geopolitical interests in the region. China doesn’t consider Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India and has been issuing stapled visas to the residents of Jammu & Kashmir.
But more than that, there were, and are, elements in Kashmir, who want the Chinese intervention in the Indo-Pakistan relations so that the lawful political and constitutional Indian presence ended in Kashmir and Jammu & Kashmir became part of Pakistan or independent of both India and Pakistan. Pro-Pakistan Syed Ali Shah Geelani and former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, for example, are ardent votaries of Pakistan-China nexus. Only on July 21, 2017, Farooq Abdullah urged New Delhi to seek Chinese help to engage with Pakistan to resolve Kashmir.
The latest is the Chinese declaration that it could enter Jammu & Kashmir if urged by Pakistan. Aggressive and threatening Beijing took this stand after India rightly involved itself in the India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in the Sikkim sector after its help was sought when Chinese troops were found building a road in the tri-junction.
The truth, in short, is that China has been at regular intervals creating problems for India in Jammu & Kashmir – sometimes in collaboration with Pakistan and sometimes without involving Pakistan. To be more precise, both China and Pakistan have virtually created a two-front situation for India.
The July 15 statement of Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in New Delhi that external forces were creating trouble in Jammu & Kashmir was a canny exercise calculated to force New Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan and Kashmiri jihadis so that she could achieve the “larger goal” to achieve which her People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stitched a post-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in February 2015.
The Jammu & Kashmir issue is a settled issue.
“Kashmir issue is not a law and order problem. It is happening because of external forces. The ongoing fight is a handiwork of external forces and now, unfortunately, China is also trying to meddle with it,” she, inter-alia, told reporters after her meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. One doesn’t really know if she actually discussed or not discussed the Chinese factor with the Home Minister, as conflicting reports emanated from New Delhi on the day of the meeting.
The fact of the matter is that Mehbooba Mufti is desperate for a settlement of the otherwise settled issue of Jammu & Kashmir. The stand of her party all through has been that Pakistan is not an enemy and it is a factor in the political situation in the state that was needed to be accommodated. She and her party have been seeking a regime ever since its inception in 1999 that establishes India-Pakistan joint-control on Jammu & Kashmir, grants economic independence and self-rule, opens all the routes to Central Asia, introduces dual currency in the state, renders borders between India and Pakistan porous and the Line of Contro (LoC) just a line, demilitarize Jammu & Kashmir and so on.
Only on July 16, Mehbooba Mufti sprung a big surprise when she declared that time was ideal to restart talks with separatists. She emphasized and underlined that holding talks with them not an act of appeasement. “Dialogue or engagement should not be confused with appeasement as the exercise is for reconciliation. As soon as one says the word dialogue, electronic media and others say you are appeasing the separatists, appeasing the other side. Dialogue is an engagement for reconciliation,” she said. On July 18, she again parroted the same line at Uri in Kashmir.
What she said was not consistent with the line of the BJP-led Union Government and the BJP as a party on the issue of dialogue with Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists. It was just the opposite. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has said that Kashmir is a war zone. The BJP has stated and restated that there could be no talks with Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists at gunpoint and PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan are legitimately Indian.
The Jammu & Kashmir issue is a settled issue. Pakistan and Kashmiri want a third communal partition of India and this is utterly unacceptable, as one more communal partition of the country will lead to its balkanization. Mehbooba Mufti must be told that she should behave or quit.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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