Every time Pakistan shakes hands with China at the end of an arms deal, India trembles. We become paranoid, we start thinking, “Are we going to get attacked? Voices in the corridors of power echo a common sentiment – Is Pakistan gearing up for battle, with Chinese help?
Newspapers and television debates are mostly centered on this sensitive issue. We scream murder, accuse Pakistan of plotting something sinister, and blame China for so openly daring India!
We should never stop collecting data on every Pakistan-China deal, dissect it and identify its hidden agenda. It is critical for national security to gauge the enemy’s strength. But it is stupid to get nightmares about it. It is silly to imagine all kinds of doom. We appear cowardly when we overtly and loudly express concern over a bilateral deal. We come across as a nation which is indirectly pleading for international interference.
Pakistan does have good relations with China. However, China and India enjoy good relations as well. Trade volume between India and China reached to $70 billion mark and India also bought power generation equipment from China.
Pakistan is set to buy eight submarines from China in a multi-billion dollar deal that will boost Pakistani navy’s maritime capabilities. This nearly $5 billion deal, described as the largest ever defence deal between two countries. The biggest arms importer from China will make payments in four instalments, and the delivery will be made in the coming years! Pakistan’s “all weather friend”, China, is likely to extend a long-term loan, possibly at a low interest rate, to cover the cost of the project. Pakistan has been negotiating the purchase of submarines from China since 2011.
India is not concerned over the construction of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, since an economically strong Pakistan would bring stability in the region.
Is it really an issue? India, too, enters into contracts with other countries.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently pointed out that India imports nearly 60 percent of its defence needs. Over the past five years, India was the world’s biggest arms importer, accounting for 15 percent of the world’s weapon imports, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Modi is pushing for a “Make in India” policy, because of which India is poised to become more self-sufficient in arms production. This is where our focus ought to be. We cannot be concerned about what the others do, simply because we cannot do anything about it. All that we can do is beef up our own defence, which is exactly what I am proposing.
Recently, the Indian navy responded to reports that a Chinese submarine had crossed the Arabian Sea and entered Karachi port. The navy said it was not a matter of big concern, but they were monitoring all such activities.
“Docking of a submarine belonging to some other country in a third country itself is not a big concern but we do monitor them, whichever submarines operate in our region. Our Navy is quite strong enough to look after our maritime interests in our area of interest,” said vice admiral P Murugesan, vice chief of naval staff.
Our security challenges are well known, our international responsibilities are evident. We need to increase our defence budget and preparedness. We do have to modernise our defence forces. We have to equip ourselves for the needs of the future where technology will play a major role