While efforts are underway to make South Asia a region of peace, India is engaged in sending alarming signals to its Saarc partner Pakistan, as well as China. New Delhi recently revealed its plan to import war machinery and placed an order to buy a fleet of helicopters. A report published in the Times of India has sent ripples to the defence strategists of China and Pakistan. It reveals an Indian plan to build as many as 18 tunnels along the borders with Pakistan and China for faster troop mobility, storage of critical fighting assets and to protect them from enemy satellite and spy drones. These tunnels would also be used to protect troops from nuclear, chemical and biological attacks and establish command and control centres. New Delhi is keen to counter China’s capability of moving 30 divisions, each comprising more than 15,000 personnel in less than 30 days along its border. In all 11 similar tunnels are in different stages of planning in the various parts of the Indian-Held Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Now that Indian intentions are known, it is the right time for our defence strategists to take counter measures to effectively defend Pakistan. It should in no way mean that Islamabad should withdraw from the process of dialogue aimed at finding a peaceful solution of its disputes with India. But we cannot afford to overlook the Indian move to arm itself to the teeth and build tunnels so close to international borders.