The Shadow of Xinjiang - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 6 September 2010

The Shadow of Xinjiang

The Karakoram Highway, or Friendship Highway, that links Abbottabad with Kashgar. A biker poses at the Khunjerab Pass

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 7th Sept 10

The recent brouhaha over Beijing’s refusal to issue a regular stamped visa for an official visit to China by Lt Gen BS Jaswal, India’s top military commander in J&K, bore the familiar stamp of our public overreaction to Chinese provocation. But there was something remarkable this time. Alongside the “dragon is coming” rants on TV news, and from our predictable strategic community, both governments implemented a discrete but discernible damage control effort to prevent this incident from spiralling into a public exchange. New Delhi and Beijing, clearly, have agreed to moderate disagreement and to manage Indian public opinion.

Look at how this played out. In July, India responded to the visa refusal with no more than a demarche --- a pro forma letter--- and a mild reproof to China’s ambassador in India, Zhang Yang. On 27th August, when the Times of India broke the story, South Block --- behaving as if the visa had been denied that morning --- mollified public sentiment by calling in Ambassador Zhang to the MEA to convey India’s “strong concern”. But a report that India had suspended defence exchanges with China was immediately denied by Defence Minister Antony and, as emphatically, by Beijing. New Delhi’s only retaliation was to cancel a one-day visit by two Chinese officers to India’s National Defence College.

Beijing, having made its point, seemed eager to douse the embers. China’s embassy in New Delhi feigned ignorance about the visa denial, saying it needed to check with Beijing.

At that point, inconveniently for Beijing and New Delhi, a new controversy boosted indignation amongst India’s chatterati. A New York Times article by American scholar, Selig Harrison, reported that 7,000-11,000 Chinese soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had set up shop in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Pakistan-occupied J&K, which Islamabad calls the Northern Areas. The PLA, said Harrison, was building high-speed rail and road links over the (15,400 feet high) Khunjerab Pass, along the Karakoram Highway, a tenuous 1,300-kilometre mountain road linking Pakistani Punjab with Xinjiang. This would allow China to access Pakistan’s Arabian Sea naval bases at Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara in 48 hours instead of the current 16-25 days. But Harrison’s bombshell was his assertion that Pakistan was “handing over de facto control of [Gilgit-Baltistan] to China.”

Beijing quickly issued a statement calling this a motivated report aimed at damaging Sino-Indian (and Sino-Pakistan) relations. But that rebuttal, on 1st Sept, sparked a fresh Indian firestorm. In stating “The story that China has deployed its military in a northern part of Pakistan is totally groundless…” Beijing had explicitly supported Pakistan’s claim to the Northern Areas. Following a protest from India’s ambassador in Beijing, China quietly removed the statement from official websites.

That Beijing is juggling conflicting interests on J&K --- pandering to Pakistan without irretrievably alienating India --- is evident from this one-step-forward-one-step-back tango. Islamabad has apparently coaxed Beijing away from its policy of equidistance on J&K --- which famously began in 1996, when visiting President Jiang Zemin, in his “dog that didn’t bark in the night” speech to Pakistan’s parliament, made no reference to J&K --- with a quid pro quo that Beijing badly needs. But the Chinese establishment is in a cleft stick: a price demanded by Pakistan on the one hand, stable relations with India on the other.

Popular Indian perception can hardly be expected to sympathise with Beijing’s dilemmas. For the Indian public a pro-Pakistani tilt in China can only be a conspiracy against India. To see it as a price, extracted by a hard-bargaining Islamabad, and paid reluctantly by Beijing, would stretch the imagination of most Indians.

Nevertheless, presuming an anti-India rationale could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It would be strategically prudent to consider alternative Chinese motives, especially its obsession about the spread of radical Islam amongst the disaffected Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang, China’s sprawling province that borders Central Asia and Gilgit-Baltistan. With the radical Sunni Sipah-e-Sahiba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Toiba spreading their influence in Gilgit-Baltistan, apparently with Pakistan Army and ISI connivance, Beijing fears that Pakistani-style radicalism could buttress the jehadi fervour that is already seeping into Xinjiang from Central Asia.

Within Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistani security establishment is hardly about to curb the SSP and the LeT, both of which serve to counter political resistance, and Shia sectarian groups. In fact, after giving its radical proxies a free hand for decades, it is doubtful whether the Pakistani establishment is even capable of reining them in. What better way of meeting China’s concerns about the inflow of radicalism than allowing PLA units into Gilgit-Baltistan on a DIY (do it yourself) arrangement. Selig Harrison might be right about Pakistan handing over control (at least of the area adjoining the Xinjiang border) to China.

As important for Beijing --- given its need to “develop” Xinjiang, and accelerate the demographic shift from Uighur to Han --- is the building of a commercial corridor through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Allowing China to translate the rickety “Friendship Highway” into a high-speed transit link for hydrocarbons, raw materials and the outflow of Chinese goods, would give Islamabad further leverage to demand a price.

Hence, evidently, the quid pro quo: clear Chinese support for Pakistan on J&K. Islamabad’s ceding, in 1963, of the 5800 square kilometre Shaksgam valley to China, which is contingent on a final J&K settlement between India and Pakistan, has already given Beijing a status quo interest in Gilgit-Baltistan. Allowing China basing rights for the PLA and an economically important transit link through the area would solidify that position.

For Islamabad, engineering China’s new tilt is about doing down India. For Beijing, however, this appears to be less about India than about reducing insecurity on a sensitive border. Does this matter to India, which loses either way? Clearly it doesn’t to an inflamed public; but the government is treating China with greater understanding.


  1. "For Islamabad, engineering China’s new tilt is about doing down India. For Beijing, however, this appears to be less about India than about reducing insecurity on a sensitive border. Does this matter to India, which loses either way? Clearly it doesn’t to an inflamed public; but the government is treating China with greater understanding."

    Sorry Shukla. That is so such wild speculation and a figment of your imagination. It could well be a million other reasons as well, the exact one will be known only to the Chinese themselves. I am sure if the intent was different from what you have put out here , the Chinese will be bemused to see it, if it was different. In any case, India will have to take it at face value and base it's decisions on facts, rather than some vague hypotheses.

  2. Ajai, your article illustrates very well the reality on the ground and the nicety with which the Indian government has handled it.

    The other side of the coin is that our government is being accomodative and "understanding" of China's concerns while not expecting any quid pro quo from China.

    The question someone shoould raise is "Whats in it for us"?... what do we get by this accomodative and senstive handling?

    The Chinese pragamtism is displayed by their ability to ge whatever they feel is righfully theirs. The Q&A section in the webpage they took down explicitly made clear that they are not changing their policy on the stapled visas to our fellow citizens from J&K.

    We behave exactly as they know we will behave, with pretences of being soft and understanding and diplomatically. Even if we loose on the ground.

    Selig Harrisons report is based on facts. The PLA is present in G/B in large numbers, but in muftis not in uniform mostly. And they have enough stores of arms & ammo in dumps there for quick availability.

    The question is not just about the Karakoram highway, but also about the tunnels being dug.. and not just the tunnels needed for the road....

    While India cannot change the reality about Pak-China relations, one sure way of influencing Chinese thinking is to make them aware that they will stand to lose something economically, rather than sabre rattling. At the risk of extreme simplification, it is true that reputation and money talks, to the Chinese psyche. Except in the case of their "core" interests. Even there, its about reputation... of being soft.

    We, on the other hand, like our great first PM, like to be seen as some sort of archaic, "understanding" nation while we get ambushed and continue losing, despite the ability to make the right noises that will ensure that the Chinese will think deep before acting.

    Being diplomatic is the right thing, so long as there is something to gain. We dont have any "guanxi" with the Chinese and therefore they will keep smiling and taking what they please and continue using Pakistan as their "force multiplier" as President Zardari so aptly put it.

    Without being judgemental, I feel that we just continue to lose, and they continue to know how to play us...

  3. am unsure but i gradually get the feeling that the author is influenced by china someway....china has given pak nuclear weapons for gods sake be used against india...the author is trying to couch china's misdeeds in a 'pak pressure' cover....this hits me right in the apparent

  4. while it is true that garrulous indian media and some strategic analysts overdo things, i have a feeling that you are at a risk of underestimation.

    china has a lot of leverages on pakistan. they are pak's reliable arms supplier which comes without any conditions, often giving generous soft loans to help them buy it. they have significant contribution in pak's nuclear "industry".
    they invest in pak's domestic market when other countries are hesitant in doing so.

    i don't see the need for china to make pakistan further happy by going into a diplomatic offensive against india.

    pak can't afford to say no to any of china's proposals.

    the string of such incidences may have a reason. may be they are sending some message to india over tibet issue or if they think india is getting into a "contain china" policy with USA or some east asian countries.

    though i confess i don't really understand china's india policy.

  5. If we were to at a future time, let us say- tell both nations that they have built up structures on our land and destroy the highway at several difficult to repair points, what then in your view would be the reaction of the two Governments (that of PRC and the Pakistan)?

  6. there is actually a good amount of potential risk in immediate future.

    there seems to be some consensus among the economists that china is unlikely to keep the past pace of double digit growth. even there are some speculations about an imminent bust of real estate bubble in china (jim chanos).
    there is also some analysis about potential double digit growth in india, provided we sort out our infrastructure and agriculture.
    so , if india doesn't make a mess of herself , in the next 2 or 3 decade the economic gap will not widen rather it is very likely to slowly converge.

    in this scenario if china has any future plan of limited armed action - this is the time with economic and military gap at it's widest.

  7. Ajai,

    Whilst your analysis is excellent, even if one ignores the hysteria exhibited by the Indian media and a lot of "experts/analysts", the issue is grave due to its strategic and tactical ramifications. In the event of hostilities with either Pakistan or China, the highway and the access that it provides have the potential to (i) act as a staging ground for an assault on J&K, (ii) act as a second front for China to execute a pincer movement, (iii) escape route for hostiles if the going gets tough. Ofcourse, acting with paranoia is not the answer. Theres just no other option other than building up infrastructure along our border areas.

  8. I am not familiar with Jiang Zemin's "dog that didn't bark in the night" speech. Can someone here enlighten me?

  9. India really has to sort it's issues with pak...otherwise they will continue to try to undermine us. They are blocking our access to CARs. And its unlikely that the kashmir's will ever be won over. I have heard that they hate us utterly (even little childrens), even the local police cannot be trusted.

  10. TYPO in 4th paragraph Ajai, in the following line:

    But Harrison’s bombshell was his assertion that CHINA was “handing over de facto control of [Gilgit-Baltistan] to China.”

    I think would be Pakistan which was handling control to China.

  11. I don't care about what are Chinese concerns which make them take Pakistani Side and I have no simpathy for them. Chinese with Pakis are playing these games with us, and we need to make sure that we win them.

  12. To Anon @ 0925

    I believe it is very easy to misconstrue the tenor of this article.

    As a "reporter/journalist" Ajai treads a thin line between reporting an event/issue/developments as he sees it on the ground; and presenting a partisan view because he is Indian first and ex army officer second. We, in our inimitable manner, tend to take even a neutral view as being anti-India easily. Good reporting is about reporting ground realities. Partisan reporting is about the way Fox News does reporting in the USA... or closer home, the way the Global Times reports in China.

    This article, in my opinion, does a good job at describing in an "unpartisan" manner, a situation that many of us easily get emotional about.

    What I carry away from this article is that China does what is good for its national goals (as any self respecting country should, despite or inspite of the approval of other nations). The important question for us proud, chest thumping, desk warrior Indians is, does India do so?

    Think about that.


    To Anon @ 01027

    China does not have an "India policy" per se. China simply does whatever it will take to get China to where it believes its rightful place is, i.e., at the head of Asian nations at the least, and as a feared( camoflouaged by respect) world superpower at best.

    You must remember that Chinese have a very long history and memory and aspirations driven by the fact that all of Asia ( except India, the Mongols for some time [but then, they later became one of the Chinese dynasties], and the Japanese for most of the time) paid tribute to the Chinese emperor ( historically).

    That is what China aspires again, and they will do anything to get there again if they can. If it means screwing India or Pakistan, they will do it, unless the costs to them, in terms of "face" and money, is huge.

    Let us not be under the impression that the Chinese respect the Pakistanis, in fact, they look down on Pakistan much more than they look down on any country. But, Pakistan serves a great purpose for China by distracting India... and so the bonhomie and proven nuclear designs..

    To Brown Panda

    "The dog that didn't bark in the night" was not some ancient Chinese proverb on which Jiang Zemins '96 speech was based. Its a phrase from a Sherlock Holmes story that is used in our times to describe, roughly, missing out OR ommiting the most important aspect/ job. Contexts can vary :)

    In the context of Zemins speech, Ajai probably meant to highlight the subtle message the he gave the Pakistani audience when he said " "We should look at the differences or disputes from a long perspective, seeking a just and reasonable settlement through consultations and negotiations while bearing in mind the larger picture. If certain issues cannot be resolved for the time being, they may be shelved temporarily so that they will not affect the normal state-to-state relations."

    Pakistan expected China to come out in strong support of its stubborn, suicidal intransigience, but what China hinted at, was that Pakistan may be better of shelving issues and following China's lead in developing trade with India.

    The dog that was expected to bark, did not.. but promoted trade instead!!! What a heartbreak for Pakistan which was expecting their knight on a dragon to come to their aid.....

    To spankys blog

    :) Funny that you point out mistakes. Do read your correctional sentence for a bit mate :)
    I quote " I think would be Pakistan which was handling control to China." Apart from the perfect grammar, "..HANDLING.."??? For Confucious sake man!!!

  13. To Anon@ 0840

    I would agree with you in the sense that it is better for us to err on the side of caution..

    The Chinese are known well for using even things that, on the surface appear like mistakes or faux pas, to send a message. It is, USUALLY, by design and never by mistake.

    Personally, on the basis of my limited experience, I do not, for a second, believe that China used the phrase "Northern Pakistan" by mistake.

    It most probably was an attempt to calibrate responses from India and Indian public. Whether our netas change or not, our opinion and our "hulla" can still matter ( At least I like to believe that)

    China likes getting many birds with one stone. So, reducing insecurity on a sensitive border may be the easily visible icing on the cake, but the cake itself is more deep than than the visible icing... The Chinese play for keeps, and have the stomach to to play for the long term.

  14. @MPatel, so they hate us do they now? So why then are so many of them rushing in to different parts of India- go see goa during the tourist season. Besides I am sure the majority of them being shia they would be welcomed with open arms in Pakistan-not!!!.

    Back to ajai's blog... some guy from the east before the '62 conflict said. Sometimes a war is neccessary to bring 25 years of peace. Looks like he was right as the chinese bought nearly 50 years of peace on 'their terms'.

  15. "What better way of meeting China’s concerns about the inflow of radicalism than allowing PLA units into Gilgit-Baltistan on a DIY (do it yourself) arrangement. Selig Harrison might be right about Pakistan handing over control (at least of the area adjoining the Xinjiang border) to China."

    I hope on some similar pretexts, Pak allows the Indian Army to enter in to POK and Pak on a do it yourself basis.

  16. Sir, when is your book being released?

  17. Why get swayed by retired RAW officials views which in the service times was always wrong.

    You have an Army background and should be bothered about " Nutcracker Situation" rather than put all energy on deflection of the issue.

    Xingiang all right. What about J&K? For China, Xianzaian may be important but for India J&K and Northern area is as important as Zinging for China.

    Why the hell are you advocating for Chinese sensitivity on Zinxianag while almost undermining Indian sensitivities. You seem to be adopting Nehruvian mold of misinformation and misleading.

    Not expected... I agree with the first commentetor. simplicity is the best policy and you are spurning the issue like Menon... Do not be so happy with comparision though.

    Sorry for being harsh and do publish it ...

  18. We are often told that China's actions in South Asia are the results of China's dilemmas - be it Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, Indian ocean or Gilgit-Baltistan. Shouldn't India, by now, design fitting responses to such 'dilemmas'?

  19. Going by the Specificity Rule, China is the root cause of all the problems. Pakistan or kashmir itself are not a problem. Chinese cannot be trusted no matter what, the sooner we understand the better.

  20. Ajai, could you throw some light on the two pictures? Are they of the Karakoram Highway? Which is the third language in the signboard?

  21. To Anon @ 0004

    Good to know there are folks who think the way you do. I am thankful for that.

    I would phrase it slightly differently though..

    I think its time for us to be focussed on our concerns and dilemmas and "core interests" and have the political balls to do whatever it takes in our interest.


  22. Anonymous 12:13:

    What do you imagine the third language would be in that part of the world?

    Obviously... Bengali!

  23. India should take back the POK first. Then the situation may be suitable enough to take back Northern Kashmir and then to see whether the Red Dragon automatically withdraws out of its gifted parts of Kashmir or not.

  24. What sort of country(Dragon as per this article) keeps gaining and gaining "in a dilemma" ?

  25. Ajai, unemotional version 1.1 :) Please edit if you will and publish. Thank


    To Anon @ 2244

    Here is my 25 paise:

    1) Commenting on where the leanings of ex-servicement lie is funny considering

    you may not be aware that they have given the best years of their lives living

    in the most extreme conditions, often sacrificing a family life as many know it,

    so that all Indians(and foreigners) have the freedom to comment here as they

    please. An army background does not mean not doing ones current job as best as

    one can. In this case, it is unbiased reporting.

    2) R&AW
    It is true that R&AW has slipped up a few times. But so has the Mossad and the

    CIA and the KGB and MI6.. You may want to read up on the consequences of the

    "Curveball" fiasco at the CIA before commenting with so much outrage.
    It is true that some of the negative aspects of IPS culture and sarkari culture

    in general, has affected R&AW.

    However, your rant about R&AW and its operatives (serving/retired)shows how

    little you know of R&AW's contributions to India's foreign policy objectives.

    And it is best that way. The best successes of covert services always remain

    classified for a long time. But failures invariably get publicity... and thats

    normal too, in all countries except China/Pakistan/ North Korea and the like.

    India does not lack in covert action capabilities. What we lack is political

    will.... If you are Indian, you should be thankful for the R&AW & the Indian

    armed forces guaranteeing you more peace than what would have been otherwise.

    Suffices to say that you would never make the cut to becoming part of the R&AW

    or the intelligence service of whatever country you are from :)

    3) Sensitivities ( Chinese/Indian)

    Nutcracker situation!!. Military strategy is not as simplistic as you seem to

    imply. To get a hint of what our official thinking about this is, please recall

    the statements made about a 2 front war... by the army. Do you think that the

    planning was as recent as the public statements?


    strategically prudent to consider alternative Chinese motives, especially its

    obsession about the spread of radical Islam amongst the disaffected Uighur

    Muslims of Xinjiang"

    For crying out loud, it means.. DONT DISCOUNT THE OBVIOUS CHINESE STRATEGY, BUT



    Do you think that Wahabi Islamic militancy will permit the ISI to distinguish

    between Kashmiri Ummah and Xinjiang Ummah? The answer is a big NO. It may

    accomodate the game play for a bit, but in the long run, its about the Ummah

    everywhere.. which includes not only the Uighurs of Xinjiang, but also the Hui

    Chinese muslims.....

    The question Ajai is asking the more discerning reader is " IS THERE SOME WAY


    China's unspoken core interest is internal stability. The leadership there dread

    the possibilit of anything similar to another Tiananmen square...

    Chew on that before making simplistic and uneducated rants about the R&AW and

    the Indian armed forces. Analysis means not just readin the obvious signs, but

    also understanding or at least trying to figure out motives hidden beneath

    misleading motives and so on... If it were straightforward, then you could do it


    Thank you very much. Now for a chat with the Old Monk...

  26. The way i see it India will always be tied to an equilibrium with pakistan. This is something it cannot avoid irrespective of its development in the economic field. History teaches you this. A little example the current indian landscape was always rich economically and the muslims kept comming to take, steal, whatever you call it. As long as indias border is not secure or at least peacefully settled it will always be bogged down. As to taking kashmir good luck :-))

  27. @Ajai sir

    In heberian you have got a great supporter of your views. Some of his assertions are really interesting and noteworthy.

    Ajai sir you said earlier that India needs to take new approach to solve border issues with China.

    Now you have said that 'Selig Harrison might be right about Pakistan handing over control (at least of the area adjoining the Xinjiang border) to China.'

    Please enlighten me as to how India can try to figure out a new approach to solve border issues with China when this country is actually trying to undermine India's rightful claim to J&K.
    My assertion says

    1. India needs to forget about getting back the areas under Chinas control. C Uday Baskar once said 'China's policy is that whatever is under its control is not negotiable, and negotiations can happen on what it can grab more'.

    2. There is no point in shouting about Chinese visa denial to Indian serviceman posted in J&K.

    Though China officially considers J&K a disputed territory but happily sits on 5800 sq km of Shaksgam valley, not to mention the 38000 sq km of Aksai Chin.

    3. We are missing a point. China wants its unrestricted access to oil and gas from Central Asia and Middle East through Pakistan. Another route is through Myanmar.

    So Xinjiang or not China will do whatever it takes to ensure that its supply lines remain open.

    4. Pakistan will happily play ball room dance with China on J&K b'coz it knows fanning J&K bogey will help to keep its country, battered by Al Qaeda militancy and sectarian violence united.


    Anything you got to say on this. You once asked me about Chinese 'String of Pearls' strategy around India. Take a look at

  28. To Joydeep Gosh

    Thank you Joydeep, for pointing me in the right direction regarding the "The string of Pearls" strategy. For sometime I was thinking it was do with unfairly flooding markets with imitation "Made in China" pearls.

    Your other points are very interestingly perceptive. If you have had a chance to be upto the Pangong Tso area, you will realise that what lays beyond, i.e., the Aksai Chin area, is quite a wasteland frankly. There is no hidden mineral wealth beneath that may make it of use to us. For China it is of strategic importance in terms of Xinjiang-Tibet connectivity.
    Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, a "core interest" of India and therefore is non-negotiable as far as India is concerned.

    Therefore in my simplistic mind, the LAC as it stands today(excluding the daily creeping advance of the PLA), should form the basis for a settlement of our border dispute.

    Off course, I could be wrong :)

  29. @heberian

    Aksai Chin may be wasteland with some patches of grasslands (i suppose).

    Just one thing, a great Indian leader once said "Kashmir is the crown of India"

    Could you please tell how a country can part with its crown that to in 3 pieces.

  30. Joydeep Ghosh:

    :) Well, purely from an emotional point I would say "No" to your question. The "crown" should not be shattered.

    However, having some exposure to many matters related to what we discuss here.. my personal opinion is pragmatism is the need of the hour, if our nation has to truly achieve its potential.

    Our J&K and Arunachal is an integral part of India and will remain so. Any attackers on these geographies should be dealt with firmly. Period.No discussions whatsoever about giving up our de facto and de jure land.

    However, other things need pragmatic considerations.

    1) We dont have all weather roads in Ladakh yet. Do you think we will ever build even roads in the hypothetical "return of Aksai Chin"?
    2) Do read up on the situation of the population of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit/Baltistan... In country like Pakistan, where poverty when expressed in % is much worse than India, POK and G/B have the most neglected/ illiterate/ poorest/deprived people.

    If we take back POK, do we really need to have the headache of taking care of the entire population there, when Bihar and UP other BIMARU states are having conditions that drive people to the Naxal fold?

    In my opinion, our money can be better spent on reverse engineering/buying/developing hi tech weapon systems AND in providing basic facilities & education to our hungry millions.

    Only when our economy becomes really strong, do we become really secure. "Hide your strength, and bide your time".. to quote a great Chinese leader :)

    Trust me, you will not like to live for extended periods in Aksai Chin even during the summer, let alone the winter...

    As for the great leader you mentioned.. do we really need to talk about how great our netas are?

    India's "crown" is its people.. not some piece of high altitude desert. Let polish that crown first :)

  31. @Heberian

    finally we agree on atleast one point. You said "In my opinion, our money can be better spent on reverse engineering/ buying/developing hi tech weapon systems AND in providing basic facilities & education to our hungry millions."

    Sometime back I said the same thing to Ajai sir about reverse engineering the same way as China does, to which he had replied (if I remember correctly) it was something like this "We first need to have the tech to reverse engineer".

    Dont Mind I will Like to Say a Few Things About You

    1. I find your writings a little sarcastic, (eg. what you said about the link i gave you abut 'String of Pearl' strategy). Are you trying to imply you are more knowledgeable and experienced than our 1971 war hero.

    2. You talk about taking headache of responsibility of people in
    Gilgit-Baltistan; mind you we have hosted Tibetans, Chakmas, Sri Lankans, Armenians, Somalis, Afgans and more for decades, they are all guests and these people in G-B are our own people. Are you scared of taking responsibility of your own people.

    3. a) You talk about people from BIMARU and alienated states. Mind you naxal problem is more prevalent in areas where there are more
    st/sc tribals, we still call the tribals unpadh/giddu/chamar and all that eventhough many have made good use of education, health and job opportunities created.

    b) We call for bringing alienated people of North Eastern states into mainstream so that they give up arms or call for separate state or country; but we still call them 'Chinki' and dont like to mix with them.

    How do you think with this kind of attitude we can win over other countries when we cant in over our own people. Think about it.

  32. Joydeep Ghosh:

    I am also of the viewpoint that the reverse engineering skills (technical and motivational) of our public sector OFBs and defense industries are nowhere compared to the Chinese. Spending money on reverse engineering means developing the skills first.

    1) Well, the sarcasm came with the genes, and was definitely not meant for the writer of the article on the link you posted about the "String of Pearls" thingy.

    2) About the rest of what you wrote, first distinguish between political refugees and others.

    3) It seems to me that you are saying what I said, but in many more words...
    In short you too are saying that we need to take care of our internal challenges first, before we can aspire to take care of integration from what remains de facto another country.

    So we we are agreeing :) that we need more "Mile sur mera tumahara."


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