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India-Pak Tensions: Balochistan likely to inform international community about Indian interference

After Modi's remark on the issue of Balochistan, mixed reactions from the concerned sides, the situation still looks questionable.

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Baloch people. Wikimedia Commons
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Sept 12, 2016: Earlier, welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Balochistan in his Independence Day address, several Baloch activists claimed that the people of the region support him and he should take up the Baloch issue with the international community at the United Nations.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri on Sunday declared in the State capital Quetta that parliamentarians from the province would visit ‘friendly countries’ to notify them and the international community about the interference of the neighboring countries regarding the issues of Balochistan.

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A Quetta datelined report carried by the Pakistan state-run news agency- Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) on Monday quoted the Balochistan Chief Minister as saying that an open letter would also be sent to the United Nations Secretary-General on the subject.

Islamabad has been dynamically and continuously protesting against New Delhi on the issue of Balochistan ever since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi intertwined into his Independence Day speech the issues of Pak-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit in Pak and the professed human rights violations as well as insensitive killings of ordinary citizens by the Pakistani forces in the Balochistan Province.

Before this, no Indian Prime Minister had ever spoken on the issues related to Gilgit and Balochistan during the Independence Day Speech or during any public appearance.

“When you look at things from the scale of human values and humanity when innocent school children were massacred in Peshawar, Indian Parliament wept, every school in India shed tears at this tragedy. On the other hand, we have a situation where some people glorify terrorists in our country,” the Prime Minister had commented.

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APP quoted Mr. Zehri as saying that some rebellious ones had been using the Baloch youth as the “fuel for their so-called freedom fight”.

 “Several misguided youths had joined the national mainstream after leaving mountains. However, some elements were sill talking about the so-called freedom in order to mint money”, he added.

No one would be allowed to enforce his stance and philosophy on gunpoint. The security situation had already been improved to the satisfactory level in Balochistan”, the APP reported.

Balochistan Chief Minister said, “ We are not afraid of India” while stating the statement of Prime Minister Modi had cleared the situation that as to who was behind the disturbances in Balochistan.

“We are not afraid of India. All the nefarious designs of enemies will be foiled at any cost,” the APP reported.

It quoted the CM as saying that a significant development had been witnessed in law and order situation, he said, adding that according to police record some 40 to 50 persons were reported to be missing, most of them were living in Afghanistan and Dubai.

“With the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and making Gwadar Port completely functional would boost the local and national economy, besides bringing an economic revolution in the region”, the agency reported.

 “We will also make it clear to India that it was India that approached the UN several decades back on Kashmir dispute but now it is not fulfilling its promise,” said Nawaz Sharif.

On the move of Mr. Sharif to send his parliamentarians, the External Affairs Spokesperson had said, “Sending out 22 envoys is not going to make untenable claims legal. They should have sent just one envoy with the right message to the right country of putting an end to cross-border terrorism”.

The spokesperson also said that a part of J&K was illegitimately occupied by Pakistan and was a concern for India.

“The ground reality is that part of J&K is under illegal occupation of Pakistan. Any third party collaboration will be our concern,” Vikas Swarup said.

In its petition to the U.N. Secretary-General, Islamabad had termed Mr. Modi’s remarks on Balochistan and PoK as ‘unwarranted and in complete contravention’ of the U.N. Charter and reasoned that the remarks were aimed at diverting the world attention from the ongoing atrocities in the Kashmir Valley.

Where on one side, Baloch activists are happy that the world’s attention has moved towards the atrocities faced by Baloch civilians but the, on the other hand, Modi’s intervention is criticized heavily.

– prepared by NewsGram Team

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.