Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Stand solidly behind Bhutan
The increasing tension between the two Asian giants China and India over later’s road construction work in Doklam area in Bhutan endangers regional peace and security. China is constructing a motorable road in Doklam, which is the tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. It is China’s highhandedness which has been rightly opposed by the Indian army picket deputed there that followed scuffle with PLA. The scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops must not go for a long period. Bhutan sees China’s road construction work as an attack on the territorial sovereignty. Bhutan is a close neighbour and good friend of India. It is dependent on India for its security and allows Indian troops to use its territory in connection with its protection. If India does not oppose China’s road construction activities with full force at its disposal, the message would go loud and clear in the region that India bowed down to China. It would cause misgivings among the India’s small neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka that it would be their foolishness to depend on India for security against China. It is also necessary for India not to back down from the stand taken by opposing China’s road construction work in Doklam to establish primacy in South Asia. India is undoubtedly the largest country in South Asia and all its small neighbours barring Pakistan are more or less dependent for one reason or the other on it. To strike fear of the repeat of 1962, China has started prowling in the Indian Ocean. India’s Navy is alive and cautious of any move made by China. Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has rightly reminded China that it is 2017, and not 1962 when it attacked India and caught it unprepared. Now India of 2017 is well prepared to meet any eventuality. India has never been in favour of any tussle or war with any country, let alone its neighbours. But if the war was thrust upon it, it was capable of retaliating with all might at its disposal. China has said that India is betraying by not abiding by the treaty between Britain and China in 1890 in regard to the Sikkim border. It says that former PM late Jawaharlal Nehru and successive Indian govt. have endorsed it. So, India should call back its forces from there. In the prevailing regional security scenario, it is impossible for India to call back its army jawans from the tri-junction. Bhutan is India’s all weather friend. It has never drifted towards China. As far as India's another close neighbour Nepal is concerned, it also tries to keep China in good humour to keep India always suspicious that if it did not address its concern, it might go closer to China. That is not the case with Bhutan. It is only and only dependent on India for territorial security. So, India has rightly opposed with force the China’s road construction work in Doklam. It is China’s highhandedness that it claims its propriety on Doklam. But the fact is that when Bhutan has let India to deploy its army in Doklam area, it is their duty and responsibility to protect the territory at all costs. From India’s security point of view, Doklam is very strategic. India cannot allow any outside force to intervene in the matter. China must know that India is not Pakistan that it looks at it for any help. It is India’s moral responsibility to protect the territorial integrity of Bhutan. China’s action in Doklam is unjustified. China must also be not any delusion that by prowling in the Indian Ocean it can cause havoc in India. India is well prepared to give befitting reply if its security is imperiled by constructing road in Doklam.