The Bold Voice of J&K


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The border stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops looks seasonal. It looks they make appearance to test India’s preparedness on one pretext or the other. The Wednesday incident in Ladakh where Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops entering in an area where an irrigation canal is being built under MGNREGA too looks like as part of Chinese recce operations. Though the officials of both the countries have denied any such incident yet it is matter of concern about the frequency of PLA men appearing on the sensitive borders in Jammu and Kashmir. The PLA troops were first spotted in the later part of the last year and ever since their presence was witnessed opposite Tangdhar sector as well. In this area, Chinese government-owned China Gezhouba Group Company Limited has been building a Jhelum-Neelum 970 MW Hydel power project. This hydel project is being built in response to India’s Kishanganga power project being built in Bandipore of North Kashmir. The Indian project is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. It is expected that PLA under a local name will establish a security wing in PoK so that India does not protest. The new three divisions, around 30,000 men, will be deployed in and around the installations built by the Chinese firms where Beijing can justify its presence along the LoC in northern part of Kashmir. Managing defenses is going to be a complex issue and the Union government has to take up the issue on priority especially when the modernization of armed forces have missed many datelines. The latest example is the delay in induction of much projected Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) service which is now projected somewhere in 2020 . The cost of the project was initially slated to be Rs 575 crore but has since escalated to Rs 10,397 crore. Such lackadaisical approach with political aims has to cut short to counter the growing external threats. The changing geo-political scenario needs that we remain on our vigil from the neighbour’s designs.

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