THE DRONE AND THE PIGEON

Indian Army has recently claimed that it has arrested a spy pigeon sent to the Indian territory by Pakistan. Unluckily in spite of wasting a lot of time and resources, no transmitter, no chip could be traced attached with the body of the spy-pigeon and on the pressure of the Indian public, the innocent pigeon had to be released. This act of arresting an innocent bird has made a lot of fun of the Indian Army on social media. Just to give the world an impression of its professional skill and expertise, a spy-drone was sent to Pakistani Territory which was shot down by the Pakistan Army. In an official statement, the Pakistan Army said that the drone was violating airspace along the Line of Control. The drone had intruded 600 meters inside across the LoC on the Pakistani side in the Sankh sector. The Pakistan Army said this intrusion was purely a provocative act and there was no other way but to shoot it down just to convey a message that Pakistan would never bear any type of intrusion into its territory.

“Such unwarranted acts by the Indian Army were a clear violation of established norms and existing air agreement between two countries”, said the spokesperson of the Pakistan Army. It is not for the first time that India has sent spy-drone to Pakistani territory; India’s sending spy-drones to Pakistan is not a new incident; even last year in the month of March another Indian-drone of the same type was shot down by Pakistan along the Line of Control. As a matter of fact, the recent intrusion and incidents of the same nature in the past reflect India’s consistent disregard for the ceasefire understanding of 2003. Unfortunately, it is not only Pakistan; all other neighbours of India are also facing the same situation regarding Indian hegemonic designs.

Recently the government of Nepal has also expressed its grave resentment on Indian activities inside its territory. This resentment was specifically with reference to the Kalapani Territory. According to the details in the second week of this May the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a strategically crucial link road that connects Dharchula in the Indian state of Uttarakhand to the Lipulekh pass near the Line of Actual Control. The southern side of the pass is called Kalapani territory and Nepal claims this territory as its integral part. The Government of Nepal has warned the Government of India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal. The people of Nepal are also taking this ‘inauguration’ as a serious intrusion and invasion of their country. On the 9th of May, several people gathered outside the Indian embassy in Kathmandu and protested against the construction of this road-link. They were holding placards and raising slogans against Indian hegemonic designs. According to different news agencies, people in a large number joined the protest despite a nationwide coronavirus lockdown though all necessary SOPs were strictly followed.

The same is the situation of India’s affairs with China. Presently the international media is replete with the news of clashes between the Indian and the Chinese troops along the LAC. It has also been reported that after a three-week-long confrontation, the Chinese forces have pushed Indian troops far back from their actual position. The basic reason for this rising tension rather than the bone of contention is that India is working on the construction plan of a road at the Pangong Tso which would connect the disputed border between the two countries. Pangong Tso also is known as the Pangong Lake is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas. An endorheic means a basin-like shape limited drainage water reservoir which normally retains water but does not allows outflow to other external bodies of water, such as rivers or oceans. Instead, it converges into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal. At its broadest point, the width of the Pangong Tso Lake is about 5 Km and this 134 km long lake travels from India to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China. On the construction of this connecting road, China has serious reservations as this road may prove a security threat to China.

In the first week of this May, the Chinese and Indian troops had serious clashes on the banks of the lake leaving dozens of soldiers injured. Most of the injured ones were from the Indian Army. Once again on the 9th of May, the two armies had another serious clash close to the site of the Doklam standoff. Doklam is a narrow plateau lying in the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan. According to China, Doklam is a disputed territory between China and Bhutan. China considers the presence of Indian troops in that area is as a transgression. On the other hand, India claims that it acts in the area on behalf of Bhutan, with which it has a ‘special relationship’. The situation of conflict and confrontation between the two countries at Doklam is not new, even three years back in 2017; the situation became tense in the same way when the military troops of the two countries engaged in a warlike scenario.

Encroachments and illegal advancements by the Indian troops in this area have always been a strong reason for conflict and dispute between the two countries. Keeping the neighboring countries engaged in a state of war has become a routine matter for India. From Pakistan to Nepal and Sri Lanka, none of the neighboring countries is having safe and friendly relations with India. Experts are of the opinion that Indian stubbornness may lead to a new war in the region which would directly or indirectly affect the peace of the whole South Asia. Creating a warlike scenario is never a wise desire particularly in the days when the whole world is in a state of war with the pandemic of Covid-19.