Pincer provocations?-THE HINDU-10-06-2020


Although the latest news on the Ladakh front suggests that Chinese and Indian forces have begun to disengage in select areas, this does not detract from the reality that in the past few weeks Beijing and Islamabad are making coordinated efforts to challenge India’s presence in the Kashmir-Ladakh region.

Overlapping interests:

China seems to have calculated that the division of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir, that delinks Ladakh from the Kashmir problem, allows India a freer hand in contesting China’s claims in the region. Increasing road-building activity on India’s part close to the LAC augments this perception. Jaishankar’s remark last year that India expects to have “physical jurisdiction over one day” has alarmed Beijing which sees any such Indian move as threatening the CPEC project. These factors demonstrate the overlapping interests that Beijing and Islamabad have regarding India in this region.

Both would like India to be so preoccupied with taking defensive measures in Kashmir and Ladakh as to have little time and energy left to attempt to alter the status quo in POK or in Aksai Chin. However, there are major differences in Pakistani and Chinese objectives regarding India that are related to their divergent perceptions of their disputes and their different force equations with India.

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