GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - The Government of India should not withdraw troops from the northeastern part of the country even if the level of violence increases in Jammu and Kashmir as the possibility of China creating trouble in the Northeast directly or indirectly cannot be ruled out. This was the view expressed by security analyst and former GoC of the 4 Corps of the Army, Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekhatkar.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Lt Gen Shekhatkar expressed the view that China attacking India at this moment is very unlikely, but the possibility of creating disturbance along the border to keep India busy in the northeastern region cannot be ruled out. He pointed out that during the Kargil war, when he was the GoC of the 4 Corps of the Army, Chinese troops tried to infiltrate into India through Yangtse, 45 km away from Tawang. The Indian troops resisted the attempt and clear instructions were given to the Army personnel to use force if necessary. However, the Chinese Army went back after nearly two months. This was obviously an attempt to prevent India from withdrawing troops from the Northeast to be sent to Kargil, he pointed out.
Lt Gen Shekhatkar pointed out that if troops are withdrawn from the Northeast following escalation of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, China can very well use such tactics again. Moreover, as a number of militant groups active in the Northeast have close links with Chinese officials, the ultras may also be asked to step up the level of violence to keep the troops busy in the region, he pointed out.
At the same time, Lt Gen Shekhatkar said that Chinese troops would not take a chance of coming down to the Indian side at this moment because snowfall would start in October. Moreover, the Indian Army at present is not what it was in 1962 and of late, two more divisions have been added to boost the strength of the armed forces in the Northeast. �But we must remember the fact that if trouble breaks out in the Western frontier, China would be too happy to keep the Indian troops engaged in the Eastern part,� he added.
Lt Gen Shekhatkar also observed that if one reads the comments made by the Chinese and Pakistani leaders in recent times, it would become evident that both the countries are coming closer with every passing day, which can become a cause of concern for India in the days to come. He said that China is still occupying the land that it managed to capture in 1962, while the country is constructing a mega project, that is the China-Pakistan highway through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Moreover, China is also bringing in oil pipelines through Pakistan. Because of these reasons, Chinese stakes in Pakistan are just too high and if any trouble breaks out, India would have to face both Pakistan and China, he said.
The former GoC of the 4 Corps, who also had experience of working in Jammu and Kashmir, said that Pakistan is desperate to create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir to force India to take tough actions so that the issue can be raised in international forum.