2011-05-19 (China Military News cited from intoday.in) — Indian Army chief General V.K. Singh has presented a three-pronged strategy to counter China’s growing presence in the Tibet Autonomous Region and its recent activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The proposal came at a recent meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that was attended by the army chief as well as top bosses of the security establishment.
Singh pitched for a dedicated mountain strike corps, significant enhancement in the army’s tactical airlift capability and improvement in the border infrastructure.
The army had long been pushing for the proposal, which were caught in a bureaucratic cobweb. The move follows inputs from intelligence agencies that China has continued upgrading its border infrastructure.
The army wants the proposals cleared soon as it is concerned over the growing nexus between Pakistan and China in the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.
After strengthening its position on the line of actual control, China is now trying to develop a commanding presence closer to the line of control between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. China has been given access to PoK by Islamabad to take up infrastructure projects in a big way. China’s capacity to swiftly deploy a large number of troops at the border has forced the government to draw up a counter strategy.
The army’s plan to form a mountain strike corps would be in addition to two new divisions already coming up in the north east. The three existing strike corps are based in the plains and focused on Pakistan.
Sources said the proposal could cost the government around Rs 12,000 crore. The focus will be on developing highly agile and flexible formations which could be mobilised rapidly.
The urgency to get the proposal cleared is greater as it would take years for the formation to take shape.
The army has also sought approval to strengthen its tactical airlift capability. It wants to have its own transport helicopters in addition to that of the Indian Air Force. Sources said the army was unimpressed with the performance of homemade advanced light helicopters.
The proposal also stressed the need to speed up existing border infrastructure projects and to take up new programmes like adding more airports in the north east and preparing advanced landing grounds. The Border Roads Organisation has undertaken 39 projects on the Sino-Indian border to increase connectivity.