Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

More churning in South Asia : India bolsters defences on China border


Power play in South Asia is always a delicate dance and anything that happens between India and China will likely play itself out across the region, not the least in Pakistan, Beijing’s all weather friend.

And things are starting to move on the India-China front. We carried a report this weekabout India’s plan to increase troop levels and build more airstrips in the remote state of Arunachal Pradesh, a territory disputed by China.  New Delhi planned to deploy two army divisions, the report quoted Arunachal governor J.J. Singh as saying.

Other reports in the Indian media said the air force was beefing up its base in Tejpur in the northeast with Su-30 fighter planes, the newest in its armoury. The HIndustan Times said it was part of a decision to move advanced assets close to the Chinese  border.  The IAF base in Tejpur which is in the state of Assam is within striking distance of the border with China in Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal evokes especially painful memories for India – for this is where the Chinese advanced deep inside, inflicting heavy casualties on poorly-equipped Indian soldiers in the 1962 war. The Chinese retreated but have refused to recognise Arunachal as part of India, and that along with other disputed stretches of their 3,000 km border has remained at the heart of more than four decades of distrust.