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    India goes on high alert

    India goes on high alert
    STRATFOR.COM
    Global Intelligence Update
    India has placed troops on the Chinese border on ''maximum alert''. While the new alert status was triggered by the movement of Chinese forces, it is unlikely that the two nations will clash. Instead, the impact will be felt within India itself. Overextended on most points of the compass - by starving cyclone victims in the southeast, Pakistani militants in the northwest and separatists in the northeast - the military is now likely to crack down on one of its problems. The most likely target: the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), in the north.

    Analysis:

    Indian troops on the Arunachal Pradesh section, in the extreme northern section of the India-China border, went on maximum alert November 7, in response to China's increased ''activities'', according to an Indian army commander speaking to the Press Trust of India (PTI). Lieutenant-General DB Shekatkar attributed the increased vigilance to China's construction of a road on its own side of the border and incursions into territory that India considers its own.

    The move further burdens the already overextended 1.1 million-man Indian Army, and may soon force it into a concerted effort to resolve one or more of its burdensome commitments. Several situations have recently stretched military resources. In the weeks since the Pakistani coup, the army has strengthened security along the Pakistani border. Units stationed in Kashmir have remained on high alert, particularly since militants stormed a headquarters in Srinagar November 4, killing seven personnel.

    Indeed, if India had more forces available to guard Srinagar, the raid might not have been such a deadly surprise. Finally, recent cyclones in the southeast have tied up still more troops, who now work to calm starving mobs and distribute aid in the region.

    Even before the recent announcement, India intensified its watch on the northern border between the state of Assam and the neighboring kingdom of Bhutan. Members of the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), a group that has fought for Assam's independence since 1979, have been in hiding in Bhutan and have reportedly been preparing to shift operations back into India. Since 1979, more than 10,000 have been killed in conflicts with ULFA. In addition to battling ULFA, the military has been tied down by other separatist movements in the state.

    Very recently, an overstretched military has tempted the country's many separatist movements. At the peak of the Kashmir conflict in June, for example, the army had to pull troops out of Kashmir to counter increased threats from Pakistan to the Indian state of Gujarat. In turn, troops withdrew from Assam to deploy into Kashmir. The Assam separatists seized the opportunity to launch greater attacks on infrastructure targets, bombing highways and railroads.

    In the hope of avoiding a similar situation, India will seek to eliminate - or at least ease - the problem it can most quickly solve. And it is likely to act quickly, before opponents can take advantage of the army's predicament. The country's separatist movements, after all, are more than mere internal disputes; arch-enemy Pakistan actively supports separatists in both Assam and Kashmir.

    Because it has little hope of quickly resolving the 52-year old struggle over Kashmir, India has two far more feasible options. It can step up its ongoing diplomatic initiatives toward Beijing to keep its northern border with China secure. Or New Delhi can launch a pre-emptive strike on the most vulnerable separatist: ULFA militants who are reportedly planning to move from Bhutan into India. This could then further the military's goals, allowing a broader and more decisive campaign against all separatists in Assam.

    Conversely, the new alert status is unlikely to lead to border skirmishes with the Chinese. Shekatkar, the army commander in the area, made several comments to the PTI suggesting the situation remained relatively low-key, despite the alert. He specifically stated that the problem would not escalate into a ''Kargil-type'' conflict, and even excused the Chinese violation of the Line of Control by saying the incidents were ''bound to take place as there was no demarcated actual Line of Control.'' He later said that top army officials of the two countries hold at least monthly border meetings to defuse tension and solve problems.

    More broadly, India appears interested in strengthening relations with China. Recent events are over-riding traditional antagonism. Hoping to gain Chinese support during the Kargil conflict in June, Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh told Beijing's foreign minister, Tang Jiaxuan, that India did not consider his country a threat. Afterwards, Tang said Sino-Indian relations had ''entered a phase of improvement.'' Most recently, President KR Narayanan told the parliament on October 25 that India should continue its dialogue with China to improve and broaden relations. But in the long run, improved relations with China are likely to take time and could be difficult to maintain.

    India needs a quicker fix, and may find it in a strike to quash ULFA militants in Assam. Recent attempts at negotiations with the group have been fruitless. Its leaders recently spurned an offer of safe passage; it is possible that the offer was in fact a set-up. Now the military will have both good reason and timing for a strike. ULFA members hiding in the Bhutanese jungles reportedly plan to shift their bases back into India. Indian forces have been trying to catch members sneaking back not merely into Assam but also into the states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. India can attack them while they are most vulnerable - while they are in transit.


    #2
    Aray Bhai meray! As long as Pakistan exists, India or Indians should be on high alert coz they are scared of Pakistan and Pakistaniz.



    ------------------
    N'adim (a person who feels shame..How Brits pronounce Nadeem)

    Comment


      #3
      Indian Balance
      God was in the process of creating the universe. And he was explaining
      his subordinates ...
      "Look everything should be
      in balance. For every 10 deer there should be a lion. Look here my
      fellow angels,here is the
      country of the united states. I
      have blessed them with prosperity and money. But at the same time I have
      given them
      insecurity and tension.... And here
      is Africa.I have given them beautiful nature.But at the same time, I
      have given them climatic
      extremes.... And here is south America. I have given them lots of
      forests. But at the same time ,
      I have given them lesser land so that they would have to cut off the
      forests... So you see
      fellows, everything should be in balance".
      One of the angels asked..."God, what is this beautiful country here?"

      God said "Ahah...that is the crown piece of all.... INDIA. My most
      precious creation. They
      have understanding and friendly people. Sparkling streams,serene
      mountains. A culture which
      speaks of the great tradition that they live. Technologically brilliant
      and with a heart of gold."
      The angel was quite surprised "But god you said everything should be in
      balance."

      God replied "Look at the neighbors I gave them" !!

      Comment


        #4
        Outfight the crisis. There is no other way out. Man can late but will leave early - rest of the species stay/survive. The upcoming fact.

        Fata Morgana

        Comment


          #5
          Durango you got it slightly wrong at the end of your balncing game. This is what was said: God said "Aha-- the crown piece was the subcontinent, my most precious creation, look at the two pieces at both sides, one Pakistan and the other Bangladesh.They
          have understanding and friendly people. Sparkling streams,serene mountains. A culture which speaks of the great tradition that they live. Technologically brilliant
          and with a heart of gold."
          The angel was quite surprised "But God you said everything should be in balance."

          God replied "Look at the s*** land between the two countries" !!


          Comment


            #6
            They have understanding and friendly people


            "Understanding and friendly people", If God really said that he must be on leave or sleeping when they chased out minorities (out of their pure land)and have a constitution to discriminate against all non-muslims and mistreat and kill Ahmedis. This is a great Joke in itself Ha! Ha!!

            Comment

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