GOVT TELLS ARMED FORCES TO RE-DRAW PLAN TO RAISE
STRIKE CORPS FOR (C B)
The plan to raise a new mountain strike corps for the China border in the eastern sector is now back to the drawing board. The government is learnt to have sent back the proposal, asking the three service chiefs to jointly come up with a plan involving all three forces. The rethink has come almost a year after the government gave its in-principle clearance to set up the strike corps, which eventually took the shape of a CCS note that was awaiting finance approval. It was estimated that the new corps would cost about Rs 65,000 crore with fresh accretion of 89,000 soldiers and 400 officers. The plan was forcefully piloted by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who had projected it as critical to launch a counter-offensive into Tibet in case of a “Kargil-type adventure” by China. Even then, questions were raised on whether this step would end up being provocative than effective in the long run. But the Army had cited China’s overall aggressive military build-up and intelligence that Beijing was rehearsing plans for a local military offensive by way of specific exercises in and around the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The Finance Ministry had raised questions on the longevity of the China threat. While the expectation was that the government would push this into the new 2012-13 financial year, sources said, there has been a sudden rethink at the highest levels. Insiders clarified that the government has not gone back on developing a credible preparedness level against China’s rapidly expanding military profile on the borders, but it does want a retook at the strategy from all possible sides. For this purpose, sources said, it was felt that the Chiefs of Staff Committee comprising the three service chiefs was the right forum to take a fresh look and suggest a comprehensive plan. Another provocation for returning the proposal was that the government did not want the Army, Navy and Air Force to send separate proposals on countering China. It is learnt that the government felt there was a need for coordination. The new strike corps was to come up in Panagarh, West Bengal, along with two divisions, An independent armoured brigade along with an artillery division were to be part of the set-up. Already, two divisions are being raised in the eastern theatre along with the newly-created Arunachal Sc;<.siuls battalions. Even as your writer writes, the chinese Defence Minister has arrived in India after 8 years so never ‘entanglements’ ever evolving on this issue.and operational capabilities to achieve desired levels of defence preparedness to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India,” he said in written reply.
ln recent weeks, authorities have boosted the deployment of security forces in Tibetan areas in Sichuan, Gansu a n d Qinghai, where most of the self-iM molations have taken place. Security has also been tightened in Lhasa, with checkpoints disallowing non-residents from entering the city, according to locals. Local officials have accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the incidents — a charge denied by the revered exiled religious leader — and have even described them as acts of terrorism. The Dalai Lama has blamed the government’s restrictive religious policies for triggering the protests.
The antiterrorism exercise held in Lhasa was named “Plateau Guards 2012”. The Communist Party-run Global Times newspaper reported that security forces had simulated “twin terrorist attacks”, in which attackers had hijacked an aircraft and a train. Similar drills were held last summer. Xiong Kunxin, a Professor with the Minzu University or University of Minorities, told the newspaper that the drills were being held in preparation for the Party Congress. “Hostile forces will consider the 18th National Congress a time to sabotage the security and social stability of the country,” he said, adding that “outside infiltrators and some people incited by the Dalai clique may launch terrorist attacks in the region.”
India evaluating China’s military exercises in Tibet
Even as the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is seized of the Army’s plan to raise an exclusive strike corps for the China border in the eastern sector, the Army is evaluating the recent ground-air combat military drill by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the Tibetan plateau. The PLA has carried out four exercises in Tibet since March.
“We constantly monitor and analyse such exercises; there is no change in the pattern and no new areas are being ?Pened by the Chinese military,” sources In the Army said. On infrastructure
-building by China along the border, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the government was regularly monitoring all developments in “our neighbourhood,” which have a bearing on national security. “Reluired measures have been initiated through development of infrastructure
Keen to get at least the Air Force also on board, the CCS is learnt to have asked the armed forces to further work out finer details and come up with a compact proposal for raising a strike corps. Discussions on planning a strike corps as well as two additional divisions for defence of Arunachal Pradesh began about six years ago and continued at various levels before the proposal was sent to the CCS in the form of a note a year ago, government sources familiar with the development on this front said. Initially, the Army proposed raising three divisions — comprising nearly 45,000 troops — at an estimated cost of about Rs. 7,000 crore. It was proposed to have the corps headquarters at Panagarh. in West Bengal.
The proposed strike corps will draw support from IAF fighters operating from renovated bases in the northeast. Sukhoi-30s have been posted at bases in Tezpur and Chhabua. In addition, Jorhat, Bagdogra, Hashimara and Mohanbari bases are also being upgraded.
China also wants to increase its IR aura to those nations that have remained Indian backyard nation in the South Asian realm. Recent case was with the collaborative measures that it undertook with Bhutan. All this in a way is only to continue provocating India. What can you say if China goes out of the way to manage internal issues of nations like Nepal ( so after Maoist having entered into the political mainstream post monarchy dismissal). The recent case of Bhutan China relational dynamics where China wants to increase its claim over the Chumbi valley all aimed at containing India is a case to be appreciated.
If Indo-China are Geopolitical Competitors, then Indo-Russia are “old friends” now having realized the importance of making their relational dynamics geopolitically inclined.
So, now we discuss the relational inherency of India’s veteran ally in the realm of increased competition for the other world leaders to win over India.