After having been humiliatingly defeated in Ladakh by India, China is once again testing its luck by teaming up with its client state – Pakistan to put India in a corner. Since the military standoff between India and China kickstarted in May last year, Chinese air force jets have been seen at the Skardu airbase in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. Interestingly, Kargil, which is under Indian control, is a mere 100 kilometres away from Skardu, which Pakistan has illegally occupied. Now, according to a report by Zee News, China is colluding with Pakistan in order to strategically encircle India across Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
To achieve the same, Pakistan is now widening the strategically crucial connecting road from Jalgot to Skardu, which meets the Hassan Abdal-Karakoram highway, connecting Pakistan to China’s occupied Xinjiang province. China had started the construction of the said highway in the year 1959 and opened it for traffic in 1979. According to the report, China and Pakistan can open a new front against India anytime once the widening of the connecting road from Skardu to Jalgot in Gilgit Baltistan is complete. Make no mistake, the widening of the road is being done for strategic reasons alone.
The road, which is currently 3.5 metres wide, is being more than doubled in width to 7.5 metres. Pakistan is connecting Skardu with Jalgot in Gilgit Baltistan via a widened road so that their forces can be brought extremely close to India in case of a conflict. The two countries hope to achieve reconstruction by September this year. Once the widening is complete, China would be able to seamlessly roll down its tanks and heavy artillery weapons and armoured vehicles to Skardu, and point them at India’s Kargil, which is only 100 kilometres away from the Pakistani airbase. The sharp turns on the said highway are also being made extra-wide, proving that the road widening is being done only to serve the benefit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
China, however, must remember that India is very well aware of its designs. Chinese moves to box India in a disadvantageous position will be met with fire and fury from New Delhi. In the year gone by, India has shown that it is well equipped to handle a two-front conflict. Over the years, Indian armed forces have been positioned and programmed to take on a dual-threat from both China and Pakistan. So, by teaming up with Pakistan and trying to encircle India via Gilgit Baltistan too, China has surprised no one in New Delhi.
In fact, CPEC – which has proven to be a failure, went a long way in making India realise that China was encircling India, thus forcing New Delhi to make several counter moves. In case the CCP and its personal militia – PLA try any misadventure via PoK, they will be given a jaw-breaking response by India. It is rather surprising that China has forgotten the humiliation of Eastern Ladakh so soon, and is once again trying to enrage India. If China wants its geography to remain unchanged, it will be well advised to not poke India in the face.