Chinese Strategy in South Asia

China is beginning to act more like a global superpower by playing an increasingly important role in its South Asian neighborhood, with growing interest in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

The United States, as the reigning superpower deeply involved in South Asia, essentially acknowledged China's stature in the region when the following paragraph found its way into the joint communique issued by President Barak Obama and President Hu Jintao at the end their recent summit in Beijing:

"The two sides welcomed all efforts conducive to peace, stability and development in South Asia. They support the efforts of Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight terrorism, maintain domestic stability and achieve sustainable economic and social development, and support the improvement and growth of relations between India and Pakistan. The two sides are ready to strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation on issues related to South Asia and work together to promote peace, stability and development in that region."

Coming a week before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washinton, these developments have already caused consternation in New Delhi, prompting Times of India to complain in the following words:

"China , Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan... US president Barack Obama ran through the gamut of nations as he articulated another elegant Asia policy speech in Tokyo this week. Conspicuous by its absence was India. Was India not on his radar? Or was it such a close ally that he skipped naming it at a public function? It left New Delhi wondering. Just two days later, bam! He did something even more astonishing by acquiescing in a Chinese demand to let Beijing assume the role of a monitor in South Asia, an area where China is seen by India as part of the problem, not the solution."

China's rapidly growing gigantic economy is hungry for natural resources from around the world, and the neighboring Afghanistan's potential for mining such resources is not lost on China. In addition to helping bail out the ailing US economy, China is using some of its vast cash reserves of $2 trillion to offer supplier financing as well as insurance for the non-Chinese partners to cover political and credit risk in the emerging markets. With bilateral trade volume of about $7 billion, Pakistan is only one example of Chinese interest. Others include politically-risky Afghanistan, and many nations of Sub-Saharan Africa where the Chinese are financing and building major infrastructure projects. In Afghanistan, China has committed nearly $2.9 billion to develop the Aynak copper field, including the infrastructure that must be built with it such as a power station to run the operation and a railroad to haul the tons of copper it hopes to extract. The Aynak project is the biggest foreign investment in Afghanistan to date, according to Reuters. The trade between Africa and China has grown an average of 30% in the past decade, topping $106 billion last year. China has already become Latin America's second largest trading partner after the United States.

Clearly, Afghanistan is very important to China as well as Pakistan. And it is in the interest of both nations to try and counter the rising Indian influence in Afghanistan, facilitated by the regional US presence, that poses political and economic risks to both China and Pakistan. The following excerpt from US General Stanley McChrystal’s recent assessment of the war in Afghanistan has got the attention of Pakistan and China:

“Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan, including significant development efforts and financial investment. In addition, the current Afghan government is perceived by Islamabad to be pro-Indian. While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani counter-measures in Afghanistan or India.”

It will be interesting to watch how the competing interests and alliances play out in Afghanistan, especially after the eventual American exit from the region.

China's growing role in Kashmir can be gauged from the fact that the top Kashmiri separatist leader in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference in Indian-occupied Kashmir, has been invited to visit Beijing. He said he accepted the invitation and hoped to give Chinese diplomats and other officials a "perspective" on the situation in Kashmir. This is the first time ever that Beijing has invited any Kashmiri separatist leader to visit China.

Media reports indicate that India and Pakistan have had two rounds of meetings in Bangkok in the past three weeks as part of the back-channel diplomacy on Kashmir. The dialogue was held between former Pakistan High Commissioner Aziz Ahmed Khan and former RAW chief A S Dullat.

Mirwaiz confirmed to the Indian Express in a recent interview that the four-point formula proposed by former Pakistani President Musharraf is being revived to try and settle the Kashmir issues. The Musharraf formula envisions soft or porous borders in Kashmir with freedom of movement for the Kashmiris; exceptional autonomy or "self-governance" within each region of Kashmir; phased demilitarization of all regions; and finally, a "joint supervisory mechanism," with representatives from India, Pakistan and all parts of Kashmir, to oversee the plan’s implementation.

“India is not ready for the joint-management part of the proposals which talk about joint control of foreign affairs, currency and communications in Kashmir,” Mirwaiz told the Indian Express. “There’s a broader agreement on the other aspects of this settlement model”.

The Hurriyat chairman said the new momentum in back-channel engagements among India, Pakistan and Hurriyat is because the US is pushing for movement in Kashmir to address Pakistani concerns. “There are several geo-political factors that are in play and persuading New Delhi to act,” Mirwaiz said. Apparently, the engagement has the blessing of China as well.

On contacts with New Delhi, Mirwaiz said that he would wait for back channels to produce something tangible before entering into a public dialogue with the India government. Mirwaiz met with Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik last week. Meanwhile, former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat has been in Delhi for the past 10 days. He, Mirwaiz said, has maintained “communication” with “people from the government.” Bhat has also met twice with the Pakistani High Commissioner.

If the ongoing efforts on Kashmir make significant progress, the results of improved India-Pakistan ties will have a salutary effect on the entire region, raising the US hopes to see light at the end of the tunnel in Afghanistan.

Related Links:

Obama's Afghan Exit Strategy

Kashmir Erupts Again

Chinese Do Good and Do Well

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

US Dalliance With Beijing

Obama's Retreat on Mid East and South Asia

Kashmir Holds Key to Peace in South Asia

President Musharraf's Legacy

Comments

Anonymous said…
Time that India realized the disaster that it actually is. That nut case Tom Friedman really went overboard and convinced desis that India has arrived. Thank you Obama for this dose of reality. Slap manmoron singh for me and tell him to take a trip to trans yamuna.

Yours truly (to my green card that is)
R Krishnan
Riaz Haq said…
Here's WSJ blog on Indian claims to Kashmir:

OK, so everyone knows that India, like Pakistan, claims the divided region of Kashmir in its entirety.

Everyone also knows that the seven-decade stalemate that has split the Himalayan territory between India- and Pakistan-administered portions is unlikely to change any time soon.

So, why does India get so upset every time a government, company or international body fails on a map of the region, however small, to show India’s territorial claims over the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir?
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India’s Ministry of External Affairs lamented the “gross inaccuracies” in the map and said it had conveyed its displeasure to the Embassy. The whole of Kashmir is an “integral part” of India, it said, and maps “should depict the boundaries of our country correctly.”

It’s one thing for a customs official insisting on black-penning the Indian version of the border onto a child’s imported globe (yes, this happened.) But for it to reach the level of official, public MEA statements is absurd.

India has become increasingly militant over its cartographic claims. Editions of The Economist magazine, including the current one, have been held up by Indian customs over objections they showed the effective borders in Kashmir rather than only India’s claims.

Why India believes other countries and international publications must show its territorial claims and not the situation on the ground is unclear, and not matched by how map-makers deal with other disputed borders.

Take the 38th Parallel, for instance, the cease-fire line that has divided the Korean peninsula since 1945. Fighting between North and South Korea ended in 1953, but the border has never been formalized. Yet South Korea doesn’t yell publicly when Google Inc.’s maps show the 38th Parallel as the nation’s effective border with North Korea.

When Google did the same thing with India last year, showing its de facto rather than claimed border with Pakistan-administered Kashmir, it caused a furor here. (Google relented and, today, if you access its maps in India, you’ll confusingly see India sharing a border with Afghanistan, which might be India’s claim but is not reality.)

It is now customary to mark a map of Kashmir with dotted lines with labels that say “controlled by Pakistan and claimed by India” and “controlled by India and claimed by Pakistan.” (China controls a part which is claimed by India, but that’s another story.)

But the U.S. State Department map, part of an A-Z of thumbnail sketches of countries with whom America has diplomatic relations, was by no means meant to show this level of detail.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi acknowledged there were “inaccuracies” and said the State Department had removed the map. But he added it “was not meant to represent the same precision and intricacies of a scientific map.”

There was much gnashing of teeth in the Indian press. One Times of India report even went so far as to claim these cartographic missteps are starting to anger not only officials but also journalists.

It’s clear that India will have to move beyond this kind of petty griping if it’s going to take the lead in a peace deal with Pakistan, an unstable country that is fast losing the support of the U.S.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made peace with Pakistan a key plank of his administration, and a settlement on Kashmir will be key.
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Brahma Chellaney, an analyst at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, contacted by the Times of India, went as far as to say the map showed a “pro-Pakistan cartographic tilt.”....


http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/11/22/are-all-these-maps-really-pro-pakistan/?mod=google_news_blog
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Op Ed by Indian diplomat and parliamentarian Sashi Tharoor on his recent visit to Pakistan:

I write these words in Lahore, in the midst of a brief but hugely interesting visit to Pakistan. As one who has always advocated hard-headed realism in dealing with our neighbour, while greatly respecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s vision that the highest strategic interest of both countries lies in development and the eradication of poverty rather than in military one-upmanship, I have begun to think of how much we could both gain if we replaced our current narrative of hostility with one of hope.
What is the way forward for India? It is clear that we want peace more than Pakistan does, because we have more at stake when peace is violated: we cannot grow and prosper without peace, and that is the one thing Pakistan can give us that we cannot do without.
By denying us the peace we crave, Pakistan can undermine our vital national interests, above all that of our own development. Investors shun war zones; traders are wary of markets that might explode at any time; tourists do not travel to hotels that might be commandeered by fanatical terrorists. These are all serious hazards for a country seeking to grow and flourish in a globalising world economy.
Even if Pakistan cannot do us much good, it can do us immense harm, and we must recognise this in formulating our policy approaches to it. Foreign policy cannot be built on a sense of betrayal any more than it can be on illusions of love. Pragmatism dictates that we work for peace with Pakistan precisely so that we can serve our own people’s needs better.
So we must engage Pakistan because we cannot afford not to. And yet — the problem of terrorism incubated in Pakistan will not be solved overnight. Extremism is not a tap that can be turned off once it is open; the evil genie cannot be forced back into the bottle. The proliferation of militant organisations, training camps and extremist ideologies has acquired a momentum of its own. A population as young, as uneducated, as unemployed and as radicalised as Pakistan’s will remain a menace to their own society as well as to ours.
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Let us show a magnanimity and generosity of spirit that in itself stands an outside chance of persuading Pakistanis to rethink their attitude to us.
The big questions — the Kashmir dispute and Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of policy — will require a great deal more groundwork and constructive, step-by-step action for progress to be made. But by showing accommodativeness, sensitivity and pragmatic generosity, India might be able to turn the bilateral narrative away from the logic of intractable hostility in which both countries have been mired for too long.
The joker in the pack remains the Pakistani Army. Until the military men are convinced that peace with India is in their self-interest, they will remain the biggest obstacles to it. One hope may lie in the extensive reach of the Pakistani military apparatus and its multiple business and commercial interests.
Perhaps India could encourage its firms to trade with enterprises owned by the Pakistani Army, in the hope of giving the military establishment a direct stake in peace.
The world economic crisis should give us an opportunity to promote economic integration with our neighbours in the subcontinent who look to the growing Indian market to sell their goods and maintain their own growth. But as long as South Asia remains divided by futile rivalries and some continue to believe that terrorism can be a useful instrument of their strategic doctrines, that is bound to remain a distant prospect. If India and Pakistan can embrace an interrelated future on our subcontinent, geography can become an instrument of opportunity in a mutual growth story and history can bind rather than divide. It is a future worth striving for, in the interests of both our peoples.


http://www.asianage.com/columnists/geography-hope-787
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Daily Times on China's Gwadar plans:

ISLAMABAD: Chinese investment in the Gwadar Port is purely economic, said Hu Xijin Editor-in-Chief of the Global Times on Wednesday. Speaking at a roundtable organised by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) on Pak-China relations with the editorial staff of Global Times he siad China would make all the necessary investments in the Port to make it fully operational to support Chinese trade with West Asia, especially the trade between western part of China and that part of the world. China considers Pakistan an important friendly neighboring country and Chinese investors want to invest in projects in Pakistan. Some Chinese investors are apprehensive about the security situation in Pakistan. He said China would keep supporting the reconstruction of Afghanistan post-2014. China does not want to undertake projects in any country that are opposed by the host communities. Responding to a question about the imbalance in trade of China with Pakistan, Hu said China was a free market economy where the government could not dictate to the companies to import products from other countries if they were not market competitive. Ashraf Azim President of IRS pointed out Indian concerns about the use of Gwadar Port, as a naval base was completely baseless.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\02\21\story_21-2-2013_pg5_13
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an FP Mag Op Ed on Pakistan serving as a bridge for US-China ties after military withdrawal from Afghanistan:

---Sino-Pakistan relations have consisted of four phases. After diplomatic ties were established in 1951, relations cooled as Pakistan sided with the United States against seating China in the United Nations. The 1962 Sino-Indian war and 1963 Sino-Pak boundary agreement cemented ties against a common adversary; China became and remains a vital source of military and nuclear technology for Pakistan. In the late eighties, a thaw in Sino-Indian ties - trade between the two rising economic giants is now six times that between China and Pakistan - and the spread of militancy into China's restive Xinjiang region from Pakistan diluted the relationship. Since 9/11, Chinese concerns about Pakistan's stability have only deepened with attacks on some of the 13,000 Chinese workers living in Pakistan.

Three lessons for the United States emerge from this narrative.

First, while China remains committed to Pakistan, especially to balance India, its position on Indo-Pak relations has shifted. From threatening intervention in the 1965 Indo-Pak war to former President Jiang Zemin urging the Pakistani Parliament to put Kashmir on the back burner and focus on development in the nineties, to the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister engaging in unprecedented shuttle diplomacy following the 2008 Mumbai attacks that nearly brought both sides to war, China is emerging as a key crisis-manager in South Asia - in large part to maintain regional stability for its own economic growth.

Second, despite these shifts, China retains a high favorability rating in Pakistan at 90%. Underpinning this credibility is China's perceived unstinting support vis a vis India and economic assistance, generally in the form of soft loans with no grating conditionalities, that have resulted in a range of prominent infrastructure and defense-related projects in Pakistan.

Third, China is increasingly focused westward. Since 2000, China's "Go West" policy has sought to tackle underdevelopment in its vast western regions, including Xinjiang. Pakistan can potentially provide an outbound route for goods from Xinjiang and an inbound maritime route through its struggling Gwadar port for an increasingly Persian Gulf-oil dependent China. Similarly, an influential essay titled "Marching West" making the rounds in China's policy circles argues for expanding ties with China's western neighbors. In contrast to a tense Pacific, China's west, the essay contends, is also fertile ground for Sino-U.S. cooperation, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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A final lesson from history: citing Pakistan's pivotal backchannel role in the normalization of Sino-US relations, Premier Zhou En Lai subsequently remarked to Henry Kissinger that "the bridge that helped them cross (the divide)" must not be forgotten. As the Obama administration scales back in South Asia and rebalances to the Asia-Pacific, navigating new chasms with a rising China, Pakistan might yet again serve as a bridge.


http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/03/25/could_pakistan_bridge_the_us_china_divide
Riaz Haq said…
Here's some wishful thinking by a former commander of Indian Navy as reported IDRW.org:

Quite clearly, in terms of land power, the Chinese are ahead of us not just in numbers, but in their ability to move forces quickly and in the required numbers, both force multipliers. That said, this does not immediately make our cause a lost one. We are not about to see a war being fought a la World War II in which the fight will go on until one side is, ultimately, forced to surrender. What is more germane is whether, in a limited conflict, like the one in Kargil, we have the capability to inflict a degree of punishment that the adversary might not find acceptable – militarily and politically. In 1978, Vietnam achieved this objective against the invading Chinese army easily, despite being seriously outnumbered and outgunned. The moot question, therefore, is whether we are equipped and able to do something similar or not. Frankly, not even the most cynical among our military will doubt the Indian Army’s ability to do much more to the adversary than what Vietnam could do more than three decades ago. Our capabilities may not deter in the absolute sense, but are sufficient to dissuade the Chinese.

In the air, the situation is different. The Chinese have many more aircraft, but a good number are relatively old and unsuited to today’s war fighting. Even though they have lengthened and strengthened airfields in the Tibetan plateau, Chinese aircraft are more constrained in their operating parameters, such as endurance and weapon loads, compared to ours operating from airfields located at sea level. So, if it comes to a fight in the air, do not expect the Chinese air force to have a free ride. On the contrary, India has enough in its inventory to give the Chinese a run for their money, and more. Despite delays in inducting more fighter aircraft, the Indian Air Force, in its Sukhois, MIG-29s and Mirages has a quite potent punch. In short, in air power, the equation is pretty even.

At sea, the equation is decidedly tilted towards us. In the Indian Ocean region, India has advantages that the Chinese will be hard put to match. Availability of organic air power through dozens of airfields strung across the Indian coast and island territories enable not just credible operating capability across the large water space, but also surveillance over critical energy and shipping routes. Not only do the Chinese have limited resources to facilitate credible operations, their access to the Indian Ocean is constrained by the narrow channels of the South East Asian archipelago. These potential vulnerabilities in this maritime theatre must weigh heavily in Beijing.

This brings us to the nature of a possible military conflict. A skirmish at a couple of places on the land border cannot be ruled out and will soon be controlled, but anything more substantive will almost certainly bring air and sea power into play. China has an exposed energy lifeline across the Indian Ocean that it will find difficult to safeguard in the face of opposition. This serious vulnerability at sea cannot be kept out of the calculations that it will, inevitably, have to make, should it decide to take the military option.

In short, there is power asymmetry on land to our disadvantage, reasonable equality in the air and credible advantages in our favour at sea. It is this totality of the military interface that any adversary has to consider. The balance is not as lopsided as many of our people would have us believe, but it could become that if we are not careful. We must look at the military equations in their totality – and not just those limited to the land border – and develop our capabilities accordingly. Military planners are not concerned with what potential adversaries may or may not do; their task only is to ensure that the equation is not allowed to alter to our disadvantage. This calls for calm and continuing analysis – not alarm.


http://idrw.org/?p=20128#more-20128
Riaz Haq said…
Mary Kay Magistad of NPR's The World reported that China has reacted strongly to the Pentagon report on China's military growth and modernization with its first aircraft carrier, several nuclear submarines and stealth aircraft.

Magistead reported that Xinhua has for the first time talked about China as a global economic power with global interests and it needs a blue water navy to protect a tremendous number of sea-lanes.

http://www.theworld.org/2013/05/pentagon-china-military/

Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Xinhua report on Chinese Prime Minister Li's visit to Pakistan:

In order to deepen the China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership, Li proposed, the two neighbors should firstly strengthen strategic communication and coordination, maintain high-level contact, and thus steer the bilateral relationship forward.

Secondly, the two countries should reinforce strategic and long-term planning, and open up new cooperation areas such as connectivity and maritime sectors, the Chinese premier said.

They should start formulating a long-term plan for the China-Pakistan economic corridor project and gradually push forward its construction, added the premier.

Thirdly, Li suggested, China and Pakistan further raise the level of bilateral trade and realize a dynamic balance while expanding the scale of two-way trade.

China, he said, encourages Chinese enterprises to participate in Pakistan's infrastructure construction.

Fourthly, the two sides should boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges and media cooperation, said the Chinese premier, adding that they also need to expand exchanges between their young generations so as to carry forward their traditional friendship.

Fifthly, he urged the two countries to promote cooperation in regional and global affairs and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

China respects the development path Pakistan has chosen based on its own realities, and will continue to support Pakistan in defending its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Li said.

China, he added, is willing to provide unconditional help within its capacity for Pakistan's economic development and seek common advancement in state governance through exchanges and mutual learning.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-05/23/c_124750134.htm
Riaz Haq said…
It was Kissinger who said "Nations Don't Have Friends, They Have Interests".

Both US and China have interests in South and West Asia.

China wants to build a Pak-China economic corridor through Pakistan from Gwadar to Xinjiang to assure its energy supplies in the events of hostilities with the US and resulting naval blockade in South China Sea.

As part of President Obama's "pivot to Asia" to check China's rise, the Americans have a strong competing interest in creating a new silk route in Asia that bypasses China. Americans envision such land route extending from resource rich Stans in Central Asia to resource hungry South Asia and Southeast Asia region via Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The expected energy flow for energy-hungry Pakistan and the potential annual transit fees worth billions of dollars from this trade route are part of the US sponsored incentives for Pakistan to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. The first example of this effort is the American push for TAPI--Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

Alliances are based on interests and change with changing interests.

With the changing geo-politics, it seems to me that China's interests are likely to be more aligned with Pakistan's than the US interests.

Pakistanis need to be prepared to respond to the unfolding dynamics of geopolitics in the region and do what best serves their national interest.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2013/05/how-strategic-are-pakistan-china-ties.html

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/11/impact-of-obamas-re-election-on-pak-us.html
Riaz Haq said…
US President JFK stopped #Pakistan from attacking ‘vulnerable’ #India in 1962 #China war: Ex-#CIA official http://tribune.com.pk/story/973912/us-stopped-pakistan-from-attacking-vulnerable-india-in-62-ex-cia-official/ …

Former US President John F Kennedy had played a “decisive role” in “forestalling a Pakistani attack” on India during the 1962 Sino-India war, even as Pakistan was capable of taking advantage of the situation to take control of Indian-occupied Kashmir, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official, has revealed in his book.

“Pakistan was clearly capable of initiating war with India, but decided in 1962 not to take advantage of India’s vulnerability,” Riedel wrote in his book titled JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War.

The book also revealed that on October 28, 1962, the day before former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru asked for American military help, then US ambassador to Pakistan Walter McConaughy met with the then Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan.

“The Ambassador urged him to send assurances to Nehru that Pakistan would not take advantage of India’s war with China,” Riedel wrote.

In response to that, Khan suggested that “the Americans and Pakistanis work together to seek the surrender of Indian territory just as the Chinese were grabbing land”. However, the US considered this as ‘blackmail’.

Riedel also wrote that the then US ambassador to India J K Galbraith sent an ‘alarming telegram’ to Washington and Karachi, asking, “for God’s sake that they keep Kashmir out” of any American message to Pakistan. US immediately sided with Galbraith on Kashmir and advised Nehru to write a letter to Ayub Khan.

“Kennedy’s message to Ayub Khan, reinforced by a similar message from [then British] prime minister [Harold] Macmillan, left little in doubt that the US and the UK would view a Pakistani move against India as a hostile and aggressive action inconsistent with the SEATO and CENTO Treaties,” he wrote.

“The Americans told Pakistan that the Chinese attack was the most dangerous move made by Mao since 1950 and that they intended to respond decisively,” he added.

The book also disclosed that as India began to lose territory to China, Nehru asked for US help in the war and wrote to Kennedy asking him to provide jet fighters to defeat the Chinese. “A lot more effort, both from us and from our friends will be required,” Nehru wrote in his letter.

In a state of panic, Nehru wrote another letter to Kennedy which was hand-delivered by the then Indian ambassador to the US on November 19.

“Nehru was thus asking Kennedy to join the war against China by partnering in an air war to defeat the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army of China). It was a momentous request that the Indian Prime Minister was making. Just a decade after American forces had reached a ceasefire with the Chinese Community Forces in Korea, India was asking JFK to join a new war against Community China,” Riedel wrote.

According to Riedel, Nehru asked for 12 squadrons of US air forces, as well as, “two squadrons of B-47 Bombers” to strike in Tibet. “A minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all-weather fighters are essential. We have no modern radar cover in the country. The United States Air Force personnel will have to man these fighters and radar installations while our personnel are being trained,” Nehru wrote in the letter.

Further, in the letter, Nehru assured Kennedy that these bombers would not be used against Pakistan, but only for “resistance against the Chinese.”

Nehru had also written to Britain for help. However, China soon announced unilateral ceasefire, fearing that both Britain and the United States were preparing to help India win the war.

Riedel admits that although we will never know what the specifics of American assistance to India would have been if the war had continued, “We can be reasonably certain that America, India and probably Great Britain would have been at war together with China”.
Riaz Haq said…
Nehru's pledges to Kashmiris on freedom:


“We have received urgent appeal for assistance from Kashmir Government. We would be disposed to give favorable consideration to such, request from any friendly State. Kashmir’s Northern frontiers, as you are aware, run in common with those of three countries, Afghanistan, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China. Security of Kashmir, which must depend upon control of internal tranquility and existence of Stable Government, is vital to security of India especially since part of Southern boundary of Kashmir and India are common. Helping Kashmir, therefore, is an obligation of national interest to India. We are giving urgent consideration to question as to what assistance we can give to State to defend itself.

…..

I should like to make it clear that question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view, it is quite clear. I have thought it desirable to inform you of situation because of its threat of international complications.”
(Excerpts of telegram dated 26 October 1947 from Jawaharlal Nehru to the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee)

“I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the state to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view.”
(Telegram 402 Primin-2227 dated 27th October, 1947 to PM of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed to PM of UK)

“Kashmir’s accession to India was accepted by us at the request of the Maharaja’s government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which is predominantly Muslim. Even then it was accepted on condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to accede to either Dominion then.”
(Telegram No. 255 dated 31 October, 1947, PM Nehru’s telegram to PM of Pakistan)

“…our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order is restored and leave the decision regarding the future of the State to the people of the State is not merely a promise to your Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world.”
(Jawahar Lal Nehru, Telegram No. 25, October 31, 1947, to Liaqat Ali Khan, PM of Pakistan)

“We have decided to accept this accession and to send troops by air, but we made a condition that the accession would have to be considered by the people of Kashmir later when peace and order were established. We were anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crisis, and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It was for them ultimately to decide.



And here let me make clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either dominion, the decision must be made by the people of the state. It was in accordance with this policy that we added a proviso to the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir.

http://www.jajeertalkies.in/self-determination-for-the-people-of-kashmir/

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