Apparently, China has surprised the world with its ‘highly calculated move’ in Ladakh, but defence observers had in fact been keeping a mysterious silence over what India had been doing for the last many months in Ladakh region. Long before infringing onto Indian Occupied Kashmir’s (IOK) autonomous status, last year on August 5, India had done much of its homework on ground. Perhaps nobody was watching, but China did!

Now we understand that the abrogation of IOJ&K’s special status, clamping down on an indefinite curfew and lockdowns in Kashmir, unabated killings of Kashmiris, introducing new domicile law to turn majority into minority, buying lands in IOK for changing its demography, persecution of Muslims as a result of sinister CAA & NRC, blaming Tablighi Jamaat for spreading coronavirus, and continued unprovoked shelling on Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir – all was done under a design – a design that was to be implemented via Ladakh. Nobody noticed, only China did!

From the Indian prime minister to home minister to national security advisor, from the army chief to CDS to commander 15 corps – all sang in chorus hurling of threats “ghuss k maren gay” and “punitive surgical strikes inside Pakistan”. They did try, yes, in February 2019, but we did certainly surprise them, and the world, as PAF turned the tables on the enemy. Then India unleashed its media, which kept raising hullabaloo – but very few knew that at the same time, the Indian army was carrying out its most secretive move of building roads and airstrips along the Line of Actual Control, aimed at targeting China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Pakistan’s CPEC fortune. They thought only their collaborators knew, but neither the Chinese are naïve, nor are General Bajwa and his commanders.

Security experts do not believe that Modi and company can take sinister actions without the backing and assurance of those who have frequently been facing embarrassments at the hands of China, but the miscalculation on part of New Delhi was unbelievable, however, for even its collaborators. Others can forget for example – but not China that – Gen Deepak Kapoor, the ex-army chief of India, on December 29, 2010 had stated that the Indian army was revising its five-year-old doctrine and preparing for a “possible two-frontal war with China and Pakistan.” China didn’t forget Indian defence minister George Fernandes’ statement made in May 1998, after India made five nuclear tests, saying: “China is India’s potential threat number one.”

The May 5 move by Beijing is proof enough that China is not oblivious of what’s going on. Only the style of the Chinese is different. They are cool. Their modus operandi is unique. The counter move they made was innovative; they found their territory being usurped, they moved in and shouted not, they had guns, but fired no bullets. They took the Indians head-on with fists and punches. Thanks to their expertise and tough martial arts training, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) men ripped apart the myth of Indian troops, who have been feeling ‘pride’ in making the lives of innocent Kashmiris hell for years, molesting saintly women and killing unarmed youth.

The Chinese PLA is far superior in men and material – the Indians have no match of it; but the Pakistan military in comparison with the Indians’, is much better in muscle and mettle. Time has proved this. The world has admitted is. The credit goes to the Indians themselves as well as their collaborators, who masterminded a ‘war’ at Pakistan’s home front, and presumed that an unending internal war and fight against the shadows would gradually weaken Pakistan, which will not only result in its ‘dismantling’ but also in ‘abandoning the load of nuclear arsenal’. God forbid, but how the brave Pakistan military, together with the resilient nation, hit back and so decisively, is a part of history. Not only did our forces emerge battle-hardened and victorious, they also learnt a lot on the world chessboard. Today is a time when the world seeks Pakistan’s hand for expertise and training, and sharing of the knowledge on how we did it.

China has already rejected India’s October 31, 2019 map the Delhi sarkar issued following its August 5 announcement. The new maps of J&K and Ladakh planned to bifurcate the region into two union territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh – which also sinisterly identifies the Pakistani side of AJ&K and certain areas of Gilgit-Baltistan as parts of Indian territory. Pakistan Foreign Office rejected this map, saying it was “incompatible with the UN maps”. In the same breath, Beijing also rejected the bifurcation of J&K calling it “unlawful and void”. China proclaimed that the Indian decision to “include” some of the Chinese territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty. Why shouldn’t China and Pakistan be watchful to such developments? Doesn’t India know Pakistan’s military leader has a service-long experience on the LoC and Kashmir, he speaks less and stuns more?

China knows better that two nuclear armed forces are eyeball to eyeball. That’s why its soldiers have used only hands and fists. But the question is, doesn’t India know the fact that this can escalate to a nuclear holocaust? The world after WWII, never used nukes; it restricted the arsenal to ‘deterrence’ only. Even during the heightened days of the Cold War, many crises like the Suez Canal, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam arose but the US and the Soviet Union didn’t use the atomic bomb because of its catastrophic consequences. They preferred to resolve their differences through diplomacy and by following the doctrine of deterrence. Modi, instead, is the one maniac who is endangering the future of the entire region, and the world. Is anybody going to stop him?

F. Z. Khan

The writer is a freelance columnist based in Islamabad.