Clashes at LAC, and growing security needs of J&K, especially Jammu

Sahil Mahajan 

After the December 9 clashes between Chinese  and Indian troops  in Yangtse area of Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh , the country is witnessing a heated debate over national security . There is a genuine concern    about the recurring Chinese intrusions and clashes at the Line of Actual Control. This concern needs to be addressed . True as it is that the Indian army has repulsed  Chinese troops’ aggressive moves and foiled their plans to alter the  status of the LAC , but at the same time  what cannot be ignored is that the whole perspective of the national security should not be  viewed from one angle . The  army is  obligated to defend borders .  The army has been mandated by the nation  to perform its task, and there is no doubt that  soldiers have  lived up to expectations of the countrymen. 

There is a larger issue  connected to what is happening at the LAC , whether it is eastern Ladakh where stiff  standoff is continuing  between Indian and Chinese troops since May 2020 , or now it is Arunachal Pradesh . That is  that there is a need for national security  doctrine. The  real thing is that the national security has to be comprehensive and  which change with the changing needs  of nation’s security.

Jammu and Kashmir , particularly Jammu ,  gets affected by  the situation on borders. Jammu region  has borders with Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir , but it is equally affected by the developments at the LAC.  The movement of soldiers to LAC to defend against the growing aggression of China , changes dynamics of the border in the region . The region is prone to infiltration from across the international border , and the Line of Control . Despite the reiteration of the ceasefire agreement  on February 25, 2021 , the  threat of infiltration has not diminished . Now there is a greater threat posed by the  drones that drop drugs and  ammunition . This is a serious threat  about which the police, army and BSF have warned time and again. this requires higher level vigil  and also the technology . The threat multiplies when the inimical elements  within the region  draw  vicarious strength from this kind of infiltration . Pakistan is sending drones , because it is sure that there are elements who will pick  up the consignments .  This is a dangerous phenomenon .  In such situations, the attention gets divided . The borders need both men and technology to defeat designs of the enemy from across the border as also their sympathizers living within the region . The LAC  situation the way it is unfolding also requires  men and technology .

The Tawang clashes have prompted the need for more troops on the borders with China , all along the nearly 4,000 km  lone LAC . This will  meet the security needs at the borders . It is important for India to defend its borders from all sorts of aggressions . It is a proven fact that what happened on December 9   was not an isolated  incident . There had been skirmishes in the past. And  Galwan Valley clashes and the  standoff in eastern Ladakh has already  resulted in deployment of extra troops on the LAC . This is the third winter of the troops in the forbidding Himalayan heights  of 14,000 feet and above  from sea level, where the temperatures dip to minus 40 degree Celsius . 

This throws a question, how to meet the needs of border security  with Pakistan , Pakistan occupied Kashmir, China and other countries ,including Myanmar and  Bangladesh . There is need for smart deployment , and at the same time  a proper thought and care needs to be  taken about the internal security.