Pakistan A Strategic Distraction, China The Real Threat: Ex-Army Officer

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Kolkata: Noting that Pakistan is a mere strategic distraction for India’s security while China possesses the real threat, retired Lieutenant General of Indian Army, Prakash Menon, on Wednesday said India must comprehend China’s real political objective to deal with its threat.

“Pakistan for us is a strategic distraction while the greater threat lies with the biggest emerging power in the world, China. We must monitor China’s activity to figure out what would be a major deterrence for them,” Menon said at the lunch of his book ‘India & Pakistan under the nuclear shadow’.

The former Army officer claimed despite China’s constant pressure on India’s northern borders, it is highly unlikely that they would conduct a full-fledged offensive overcoming the mountainous obstacle of the Himalayas, but would rather continue to nibble at Indian territories with small attacks.

“We cannot look at China and Pakistan through the same prism. If China has to be dealt with properly, we must first understand what the Chinese political objectives are insofar as India is concerned. On the military side, it is not feasible for China to bring in about 30 divisions across the Himalayas,” he said.

He said China’s actual motive is to stop India from becoming a strong maritime power in the Indian Ocean region as it would work against their interest.

“China does not want India to become a strong maritime power. Our geographical position gives us the opportunity to become a dominant force in the Indian Ocean, but they don’t want to do that. They are also apprehensive about India ganging up with the United States to become a maritime player.

“It has now created the northern borders as a pressure point and it would try to nibble at India’s territory on regular intervals. They are also using Pakistan against us,” he said.

Menon claimed China is becoming successful in its motive to an extent as India is spending a large section of its defence budget in protecting its northern borders while not having sufficient fund to build a robust maritime infrastructure.

He also said India’s attempt to create a strike corp against China will be difficult as India neither has the budget nor the logistics for it.

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