China, Pak appear to be in provocative mode with India at the same time

China and Pakistan appear to be getting belligerent with India at the same time if incidents of the last few days are an indication.

It is not clear if some of the incidents are linked or related but for sure after a considerable lull, India’s inimical neighbours are in a provocative stance.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday told Parliament that Indian troops successfully thwarted an attempt by Chinese soldiers to transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on December 9 in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector.

In a statement which the Minister read out in both Houses of Parliament, he said that Indian troops in a brave and resolute manner

pushed back the Chinese troops back to their positions after a physical scuffle, in which minor injuries were suffered by both sides in the sector’s Yangtse area.

No fatalities or serious casualties, however, were reported on the Indian side during the incident, Rajnath Singh informed the House.

Owing to timely interventions by Indian commanders, the Chinese troops returned to their positions, he added.

Just days after the the Chinese provocation, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday said that India’s footprints are seen in all terror activities carried out in Pakistan, Geo News reported.

“India, through some way or the other, woos the international community and then engages in terrorist activities in Pakistan and we have clear evidence of it,” the Minister said during a press conference alongside Additional Inspector-General Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab province, Imran Mehmood.

Rana said that Pakistan has decided to present before the international community an incident and expose India’s “nefarious agenda”.

“This incident took place some time back and we have caught all the culprits related to this. India has to some extent accepted the responsibility for it,” he said.

In his briefing, Mehmood said the incident took place in Lahore’s Johar Town at 11.09 a.m. on June 23, 2021.

As much as 200 kg of explosive materials and a car were used in the blast. The explosion resulted in the death of three people and injured 22 others, including two police officers.

The following day after Rana’s remarks, Pakistan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar lambasted New Delhi for its “nefarious terror activities” in her country and termed New Delhi a “rogue state though it projects itself as the”greatest victim” of terrorism, it is the perpetrator of it”, Geo News reported.

“We are also at a unique place because nobody is willing to call the bluff. Nobody is willing to call out the clear simple glaring hypocrisy in this whole act,” she told the press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Islamabad.

“This particular effort is to bring to the attention of the world and to expect them and really encourage them to see things based on evidence as they are.”

She added that Pakistan Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed Khan had called the members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad and shared Pakistan’s dossier on the 2012 Johar Town blast.

“This dossier has detailed evidence of how India has been found to be fully behind this incident that led to this loss of life,” Khar said on the Johar Town blast.

The fourth leg of the geopolitical intrigue in South Asia is playing out in Afghanistan almost simultaneously in the last couple of weeks, Geo News reported.

On December 3, Pakistan’s Head of Mission to Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani escaped an assassination bid, the MOFA confirmed.

However, a Pakistani security guard Israr Mohammad has been critically injured in the attack while protecting Nizamani, the

Foreign Office said.

On December 5, spokesperson of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that the terrorist behind the attack on the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul last month had been arrested, Samaa TV reported.

He said that the arrested suspect belongs to Islamic State (IS) terror group which claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mujahid said that during the investigation, they learned that the planning of the attack was jointly carried out by IS and another

militant group.

He also hinted at involvement of a foreign hand in it which aimed at ruining relations between two Islamic neighbouring countries, Samaa TV reported.

On Thursday, one person was killed and 15 people were injured when Afghan border forces opened indiscriminate fire on a civilian area on the Pakistani side after which security forces responded befittingly, Levies and hospital officials said .

This is the second time in five days that the Afghan border forces opened unprovoked and indiscriminate fire, using heavy weapons, at the civilian area in Balochistan’s Chaman city, Geo News reported.

On Tuesday, a loud blast followed by gunfire was heard in downtown Kabul as assailants attacked a guesthouse used predominantly by Chinese nationals, according to the Kabul police.

An Italian-run emergency hospital less than a mile away in the Afghan capital said it had received 21 patients from the attack, three of whom were dead on arrival, CBS News reported.

A photo shared with CBS News by Kabul police showed Chinese signage on the wall of the multi-storey building. A Kabul resident told CBS Newsthat Chinese nationals have frequented the hotel.

Monday’s complex attack seemingly targeting Chinese nationals appeared to be the latest in a string of violent acts directed at the few countries that the Taliban can count amongst its allies, CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has said that China continues to amass forces and build military infrastructure across the so called LAC.

Brigadier General Pat Ryder, Press Secretary, US Department of Defense, said in a briefing that the DoD continues to closely watch developments along the line of actual control at the India-China border.

“We have seen the PRC continue to amass forces and build military infrastructure along the so-called LAC. But I would defer you to India in terms of their view,s” he added.

“It does reflect though, and it’s important to point out, the growing trend by the PRC to assert itself and to be provocative in areas directed towards US allies and our partners in the Indo-Pacific. We will continue to remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the security of our partners. And we fully support India’s ongoing efforts to de-escalate this situation,” he added.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

20221216-164802

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