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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

We might get a bigger jolt than 1962: Brajesh

November 9, 2009

Adapted By Anil Kumar Satapathy
ZeeNews (India Edition)
November 7, 2009

Once bitten, twice shy. This saying aptly
describes the contours of Sino-India relations.
The recent upsurge of verbal attacks and some
aggressive posture by China, has revived the
nightmares of the 1962 Sino-India war. Would the
current tensions lead to a repeat of 1962? Former
National Security Advisor, Brajesh Mishra sheds
light on this and many other issues in his
interview with’s Swati Chaturvedi. Excerpts:

Swati: Dalai Lama is going to Tawang. This has
obviously angered China. Now in the face of these events what should India do?

Brajesh: As far as I know, India has already
clarified that it would not let Dalai Lama to
indulge in any political theatrics. New Delhi has
also made it amply clear that he is free to go
anywhere he wishes in the country. Also, this is
not the first time that Dalai Lama is visiting
Tawang. It is his fifth visit to Tawang.

Swati: There were repeated incidents of border
incursions and now the Dalai Lama episode. What
do you think is China’s motive behind these repeated border incursions?

Brajesh: In the last two years, China’s attitude
towards us has changed a bit. China has taken a
hostile stance against India along the Line of
Actual Control (LAC). In recent times, their
media and even some PLA members have struck an
anti-India stance. I think the changed attitude
might be due to the Indo-US civil nuclear pact
which has led Beijing to think that its position is shrinking in South Asia.

Swati: Is China is trying to subdue India in South Asia?

Brajesh: Yes, this is true. They have always
tried to engage us in different problems with our
neighbours so that we could never play an active role in South Asia.

Since 1962 we have two fronts -- one is China and
the other is Pakistan. But then, the two have never worked together.

In 1962, we fought a war with China, then in 1965
and 1971 with Pakistan. Then Kargil happened in
1999. But now both these fronts are
simultaneously striking a hostile posture. These
two nations are now trying to surround India.

I think, we should equip our forces as soon as
possible. Our forces should be properly equipped.
We are not doing enough in this regard at the
moment and I am afraid that in the next five
years we might get a bigger jolt than ’62.

Swati: There is an unprecedented military build
up by China in recent years. George Fernandes had
called China our enemy no 1. Do you think China
is the biggest adversary of India?

Brajesh: Look, we have two enemies -- China and
Pakistan. And if they work together we would have
a bigger problem. Now China even sees Japan also
as an adversary. But Japan has the backing of
United States, which has covered it under nuclear
protection. No we do not have the backing of
anyone else. We have to protect ourselves only.

Swati: Tibet used to be the biggest trump card
against China in international forums. But we
have wasted that card. What do you have to say on this?

Brajesh: Tibet was never our colony. It was used
as a buffer zone by the Britishers against
Russia. But we cannot continue with policies of
yore. We have to discard old policies.

China always wanted to be the number one. It sees
itself as number two right now. But United States
will continue to rule the roost in coming times
in world geopolitical scenario. But Russia too
has ambitions. It doesn’t want to be number
three. Recently, anti-Russian articles too have
appeared in China. It wants to cut its future
competitors short before becoming number 1 in the next 25 years.

Swati: Recently China has started a new game of
providing separate visas to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Why so?

Brajesh: In 1999 (after the Kargill war), they
(China) have clearly told Pakistan that the LoC
should be respected. After that also they have
maintained that the border dispute should be
resolved through bilateral dialogue between India
and Pakistan. Recently they have even offered to mediate in the issue.

They are now working on some projects in PoK,
Ladakh. So this is not a visa issue only. But it
is a bigger scheme by Beijing to play a bigger role in the world arena.

Swati: How could we tackle this?

Brajesh: There is only one way. India should
continue with its economic reforms,
liberalisations to boost its economy. At the same
time, we also need to work to strengthen our defence forces.

We have to modernise our Army, Navy and Air
Forces properly. Nobody can help us in this
regard. It is not that we should enhance our
security apparatus to attack someone rather it is to defend ourselves.

Swati: We have not given enough attention to our
military capability. Do you think we are ignoring a potential threat?

Brajesh: China is certainly building up its
military strength. And of course we are not
prepared. We have to do a lot to stop a repetition of 1962.

Swati: Do you think China would attack India?

Brajesh: Attacking India is a different thing
altogether but certainly Beijing and Pakistan
would work together in the coming years to
contain us. We must always remember that they
(China) want to be the number one. So we must see
all these events in that context.

Swati: Parliament had passed a resolution to
bring back the thousands of kilometres (Akashi
Chin) of land forcefully taken from India by China. Can we ever see that day?

Brajesh: No. I think if we want to settle our
border dispute with China we have to give and
take something. Now there are also different
theories whether that part of the land was ever part of India or not.

There was a resolution on Kashmir also. People of
India are even ready to accept the Line of Control as a permanent border....
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