As the ongoing border tussle between India and China keeps escalating, the responsible powers across the world are joining hands to condemn the Dragon for its expansionism and violent behaviour.
But the dynamics of the Sub-continent are now changing- China’s all-weather ally, Pakistan is now opening up its airbases to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force. This comes at a time when China is facing an inherent disadvantage in China occupied Tibet that borders the Eastern Ladakh sector, the venue of the ongoing military standoff between India and China.
A Chinese refueller aircraft landed in Skardu of Gilgit-Baltistan last week, and now India is keeping a keen eye on the airbases in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Also, Chinese air activity has increased opposite Eastern Ladakh. This raises the possibility of China using airbases in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
China and Pakistan are collaborating with each other to put India in a precarious position. Beijing might be sitting at a higher altitude vis-a-vis the Indian armed forces. But the bigger issue is that the Chinese Air Force faces a serious disadvantage.
According to former Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief BS Dhanoa, “For them, the geography works against them, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region. They have an inherent operational disadvantage due to altitude, very cold temperatures, and presently as we see a lack of basic infrastructure to protect their aircraft on the ground.”
The PLA Air Force has built several air bases in Tibet. But they are incapacitated due to their location in high altitudes 4,000 feet above sea level. This makes it difficult for Chinese fighter jets, attack helicopters and transport aircraft to carry payloads, weapons, and logistics at full capacity. The IAF assets on the other hand find it easier to take off from the plains of Punjab and Haryana.
This brings us to the issue of Pakistan. The country is already recognised as an Islamist terror nation. It sponsors cross-border terrorism and proxy war. India has been the biggest victim of Pakistan’s jihadist terrorism with thousands of deaths across India. India’s Parliament was insulted by Pakistan and Mumbai was attacked in one of the worst terror attacks to date.
Kashmir has been kept on boil only by Pakistan, and civilians and armed personnel have been targeted by Pakistani terrorists for the past three decades.
Pakistan has cheated the West and the democratic world too. It embezzles money, and uses aid money to fund Kashmir-focussed terror groups and also Taliban-affiliated groups like the Haqqani Network.
Islamabad’s internal issues are not much different from China. Human rights violations and persecution of religious minorities dominate the terrorist country. Hindu, Jain, Christian, Buddhist, and Parsi- women from virtually every religious minority are raped by State-sponsored elements in Pakistan. The country has been systematically wiping off its minorities.
Today, global fury is directed at China, which has become a pariah. What the world must recognise and condemn is that Pakistan is openly bolstering the rogue nation which wants to dominate the Indo-Pacific.
Pakistan does not follow the rules of international engagement. In Kargil too, it had sent in irregulars along with infantry troops who committed some of the most brutal war crimes till date. Today, it is ready to give up its sovereignty just because it does not want to fight a war.
While we are talking about a two-front war. It is becoming more and more like a one-front war with China taking control over Pakistan. Pakistan is playing unfair all over again, with China in the mix of things. China is being targeted and now Islamabad must be made to pay for its misdeeds.