Wary of China’s defence modernisation and infrastructure building in the Tibet Autonomous region, and so-called threat from Pakistan across the Line of Control, New Delhi has decided to raise a new formidable corps-sized division comprising 700 officers and 43,000 infantry soldiers. This new infantry force will be over and above the new Mountain Strike Corps with nearly 40,000 soldiers that India will raise to counter to the Chinese ‘threat’, in the northeastern region. Defence Minister A. K. Antony had informed Parliament in March that “30 infantry battalions are proposed to be raised in the 13th Five Year plan towards enhancing combat capacity” of the 1.13-million-strong Indian army.

This new initiative is part of the Indian Army’ s Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) that was given an “in principle” approval by the Antony-headed Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in April 2012. The report published in Indian newspaper says that the army is preparing to set up a new strike corps tasked with attacking targets in China and Pakistan in the event of a war with its neighbours. It is an indication that escalation in India’s attempts to balance against China and Pakistan militarily and to assert control over its Himalayan possessions. The fact of the matter is that no matter how much Pakistan is keen to normalize its relations with India; New Delhi would continue building up its military might jeopardizing the balance of power in the region. On the other hand, Islamabad is bent upon urging the launch of confidence building measures which fall on deaf ears of the Indian policymakers and the military elite. It is about time that the new government should make all-out efforts to strengthen its defences against a highly unreliable SAARC partner. Recent unprovoked violations by India across the line of control should serve as an indicator that New Delhi would never spare an opportunity to hit our soft belly.