By Dr Subhash Kapila
Pakistan and China have noticeably escalated tensions along the LOC and LAC with India in My 2020 whether by coordinated design or just inadvertently. In my assessment either way the timing of simultaneous escalations need probing.
Pakistan this year has intensified its border clashes along the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir. Simultaneously, since terrorism was strongly being curtailed in Kashmir Valley by India’s counter-terrorism strategies, Pakistan in recent weeks has escalated Pak-trained and financed terrorist groups operations against Indian Army and security forces.
While the above intensification by Pakistan was underway Chinese Army troops provoked border scuffles with Indian Army troops both in North Sikkim and Eastern Ladakh-at two extreme ends of India’s 4,000 km long border with China Occupied Tibet. While the clashes were not an armed conflict but it needs to be noted that it does not take long to spark an armed conflict.
Irrefutable, is the fact that both in China and in Pakistan, nothing happens by chance without clearance of escalation of border clashes by Beijing in China or the GHQ Rawalpindi in Pakistan.
Taking the above as a given, the next point that needs deciphering is why have Pakistan and China chosen the present time to escalate border tensions with India, moreso when both countries are in the grip of China Virus19 Pandemic?
Also what needs to be taken into account in terms of lateral geopolitical analysis is the simultaneous turbulence generated by Pakistan in Afghanistan and China in the South China Sea.
Pakistan is still playing its double-timing game in Afghanistan against the United States. The Taliban remain uncheck mated by their Pakistan Army controllers in not endangering the fragile peace deal with the United States arrived behind the back of the Kabul Regime.
China has once again intensified its military coercion and clashes with Vietnam in the South China Sea. This time China has widened the scope with simultaneous incidents against Philippines and more significantly against fence-sitters like Indonesia and Malaysia.
While escalating border tensions with India arises from compulsive knee-jerk reactions of Pakistan and China, their simultaneous widening the scope of their disruptive border tensions escalation in Afghanistan and the South China Sea is intriguing?
Pakistan and China’s disruptive strategies in Afghanistan and South China Sea are patently directed at undermining United States security interests in these sensitive regions at a time when the United States is in severe grip of China-generated China Virus19 Pandemic. Do Pakistan and China perceive that the United States would be too distracted to react against them?
The simultaneous targeting of US and Indian security interests by Pakistan and China cannot be dismissed as ‘conspiracy theories’ simply because contextually at this juncture in mid-2020 the strategic convergences between Pakistan and China have acquired greater salience.
Concluding, it may be worth the while that both the United States and India decipher the timing and intent of Pakistan and China to simultaneously escalate border tensions with India and also to provoke the United States in Afghanistan and the South China Sea.