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China is on LAC to tell India who the ‘big brother’ is, not to gain territory

Depending on the diplomatic and military response from India, PLA’s means will be calibrated to achieve China’s military aim.

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The situation along the Line of Actual Control is tactical, but the intent of both sides is strategic, as it should be. The ultimate political aim of any conflict between nations is lasting peace on own terms. However, the issue is relative, as lasting peace in competitive conflict among nations remains a utopia. Military is only the means to achieve this end and always the last resort.

China has precipitated the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh by preemptively securing/threatening previously un-occupied, but patrolled, tactical areas with strategic importance in the Galwan River Valley, Hot Spring-Gogra-Kongka La area and north of Pangong Tso. Having seized the initiative, China has put the onus on India to respond, on which will depend Beijing’s future course of political and military action. China has come prepared for escalation to achieve its strategic aim.

India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are at stake. Militarily, India has contained the Chinese intrusions and poised its forces to deal with the developing situation. Its future course of action, particularly with respect to use of military means, will also depend on the political aim it has defined for itself.

The unfortunate events on the intervening night of 15 and 16 June have forced the adversaries to take fresh stock of the situation. China, the initiator and aggressor of the conflict, has realised that if the ‘fist and club fight’ was so violent and barbarous, what it would be like in an armed conflict/war with India’s Army of today. The stage is set for a military disengagement to tactically separate the rival forces and pave way for the diplomatic negotiations to settle larger strategic issues. If diplomacy fails, military  means for either side would be the last resort to achieve political aims.

Also read: Fresh satellite images from Galwan and Depsang raise concerns of Chinese troop build-up

Tactical military situation

In the Galwan Valley, post the 15-16 June incident, there seems to be no presence left of China’s People’s Liberation Army or the PLA, as is distinct from the heights to the north and south. One does not know the exact details of what was agreed to after the first round of Corps Commander-level talks on 6 June, or what  has since been modified during the second round on 22 June. At what distance from the LAC are the troops of both the countries going to remain deployed is not known. In mountains or high-altitude areas, the battle is for the control of the heights. Valley is used for logistics and movement of vehicles, but has to be defended to avoid being cut off. Thus, what has happened in the Valley so far is a sideshow. If the PLA is not holding the heights to the north and south, then we  should be holding them. Without control of the heights, the Valley cannot be defended.

In the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area, the situation remains unchanged. We cannot patrol up to Kongka La, and the area between Kongka La and Gogra Post seems to be under the control of the PLA.

The situation North of Pangong Tso is in the open domain due to satellite images available on OSINT platforms. The area between Finger 4 and Finger 8 (5.6 km as the crow flies and 8 km when measured along the banks of Pangong Tso) is still firmly under PLA’s control. Military infrastructure and defences have been constructed on ridges going north, along Fingers 4, 5 and 6, up to 5 km. Thus, approximately 40 sq km of our area where we patrolled effectively prior to April is now under PLA control.

Elsewhere, all along the LAC, India and China have mobilised and carried out precautionary deployment to cater to any escalation.

It is beyond my comprehension as to why we are still in denial about the situation. If the assessment of OSINT is wrong, then there is a simple solution to counter claims of PLA incursions—take the press to these spots in helicopters and show them the reality.

Chinese actions are strategic in intent and tactical in execution, and aim to create an embarrassing situation for India, daring it to respond. Depending on the diplomatic and military response from India, PLA’s military means will be calibrated to achieve China’s military aim.

Also read: How Indian troops chased the Chinese for a kilometre over LAC in Galwan on 15 June night

Political aim of China

China is very sensitive to any threat to Aksai Chin, which it gradually occupied in 1950s, and other areas to its west and south that it captured in the 1962 war with India to gain strategic depth. India’s fast-developing border infrastructure in eastern Ladakh does exactly that, howsoever remote the possibility may seem to be at this juncture. Gaining additional territory is not China’s aim per se.

China perceives that by threatening to recapture Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan, India is posing a threat to its prestigious economic project — the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor or the CPEC. Indirectly, China desires a similar relationship between India and Pakistan as was prevailing with itself since 1990s. That is, relative peace on border and focus on economic relations.

India’s asylum to Dalai Lama in 1959 and the perceived training of Tibetan ‘rebels’ in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was a major factor that led to the 1962 war. The presence of the Dalai Lama in India, the Tibetan government in exile and 10,000 to 15,000 Tibetan soldiers  trained as special forces is considered by China to be the most serious potential threat to its sovereignty. India is seen as the principal instigator of the Tibetan struggle for freedom.

China also perceives that India is colluding with the US and its allies to undermine its strategic interests in the international arena, in general, and South China Sea and Indo-Pacific, in particular.

The political aim or idealistic strategic wish list of China would be on the following lines:

  • To maintain the ‘status quo’ with respect to border infrastructure along the LAC on its own terms — to forestall any threat, howsoever remote, to Aksai Chin and NH 219.
  • To prevent any threat developing to the CPEC by brokering a peace deal between India and Pakistan.
  • Coax India to join Belt and Road Initiative, in general, and CPEC, in particular.
  • Coax India to refrain from colluding with the USand its allies to undermine China’s strategic interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea.

In a nutshell, China wants India to play the role of a cooperative junior partner and not that of a competitor, both regionally and globally. To what extent it can achieve the aims highlighted above will depend on its diplomatic skills and how it uses its military to enforce its will. If its broad political aim is achieved, then it will restore status quo ante April 2020, and agree to demarcate the LAC, subject to final boundary settlement.

Also read: Asia lost a decade to counter China. But India and Quad can lead new strategy now

India’s political aim

The broad contours of India’s political aims should be as follows:

  • Retain its sovereignty and territorial integrity and strategic independence as an equal competitor to China,both regionally and globally.
  • Restore status quo ante April 2020 with respect to the LAC and ensure its demarcation.
  • Retain freedom to develop border infrastructure as it deems fit.
  • Retain its claim over PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan under occupation of Pakistan, and Aksai Chin and other areas seized by China since 1950.
  • Continue to highlight the illegality of theCPEC, since it passes through territory that rightfully belongs to India.

Ideally, a military setback for China in a limited conflict enables India to achieve its political aim in its entirety. However, the differential in comprehensive national power, particularly in economic and military domains, is in favour of China. We have the military capability to calibrate our response to stalemate China, but a setback will set us behind by decades.

The challenge before the Narendra Modi government is to skillfully manage its diplomacy and military means to achieve its political aims.

Also read: Want to help Indian soldiers at LAC? Stop spreading assumptions about Galwan clash

India’s management of the current crisis

India is facing a strategic dilemma. I have no quarrel with the narrative— ‘nothing has happened on the LAC, no territory has been lost’—except that the government  shouldn’t itself start believing this narrative as it also serves the Chinese narrative.

A seasoned political leader once told me that politicians have one major weakness—they repeat a lie so many times to shape public perception that after a point in time they themselves start believing in that lie.

One presumes that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and the National Security Council (NSC) have formally met and a national security strategy in consultation with the Chief of Defence Staff has been formulated to handle the situation. But, doubts assail me when I hear—“armed forces have been given full freedom of action”. Armed forces are given a formal political directive based on the decision made in the CCS and NSC to achieve the political aims and not a rhetoric one liner.

Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command. Post-retirement, he was Member of Armed Forces Tribunal. Views are personal.

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  1. I know this article was written in THE PRINT by Lt. Gen. PANAG on the 25th June 2020, presumably believing and hoping that China would gobble up Ladakh or at least as he says to show who the big brother is. In the hindsight, does Panag and The Print realize who the big brother is, now? Plain wishful thinking promoting individual agendas over the wishes, belief and prayers of 135 crore Indians. Let me assure Panag that the days of retired senior generals doubling up as middlemen in multi billion defences deals with foreign countries is OVER. So don’t bite more than you can chew. Maybe Gul having failed as an actress tried the same thing by agreeing to be a loser in the elections when she signed up with AAP. Maybe it runs in the family and even 40 years of serving in the most disciplined and professional institution couldn’t change the mindset of the ever hungry wolf. As for The Print, keep up the good work. The more you write cacophonous stories, the more exposed you get in the public, which gives you diametrically opposite results to those you had perceived when you started this endeavour as an off shoot of NDTV.

  2. Shameful!! Such a mole we had in our army for 40 yrs that’s why country army moral was so low !! I wish there should have been some machine to filter and tag such bastards and cowards calling themselves as star general of proud Indian army.
    Shame on you ! Spit on your face
    Puppet of China and Pakistan
    Nonsense! Idiot what you have done in all those 40 yrs in Indian Army

  3. It’s pretty narrow minded and ridiculous that these stupid commentators who have no proper info and have not done any sort of research, going on calling names and blaming the lt general who had decades of experience with the subject matter. Put aside your political and nationalistic attitudes and try to ascertain what actually might be happening and makes sense. Grabbing puny areas doesn’t make any sense economically. So the only reasoning is to intimidate and threaten that if u don’t co-operate, i can hit you where it hurts. Besides the article also mentions what india should plan for, which is pretty on point. Stop your bickering and criticize objectively with facts and proper info.

  4. When your hatred for a party become priority over sovereignty of India you write these type of articles.and..surprisingly from a ex general of army.

  5. The writer is living in a dreamland. The world should see the writings on the wall. The China is repeating what Germany under Hitler did in nineteen thirties, by claiming lands of neighbors and occupying by force. But with times, the tactics are changed. While Hitler occupied in one go, Chinese are moving forward inch by inch and retreating if situation demands. So instead of giving virtual theories of China’s intentions, we and other should strengthen our military mights and expose the fifth columnists of China among our media, intellectuals and politicians.

  6. Cunning China proved to be matured when it invested in poor neighbours and established economical empire surrounding India, while we were busy on TV debate abt Media trail on sensitive issues above Judiciary, and we watched the elected state govt toppling with horse trading, we were silent on social division by few of so called bhkts and thus failed to realise real threat now we try to solve problems through diplomacy and 56 inches roaring all gone in air useless

  7. As you know so much, you must also be knowing exact casualty from Chinese side. Reveal the details instead of speculating.

  8. The basis of China’s war with India is rooted in seeking revenge for the brutal putting down of the Boxer Rebellion (the last days of the Qing dynasty under the Dowager Empress Ci Xi) by the Indian Army which raped, pillaged and looted under British command. China wants to efface the memory of this humiliation to its own satisfaction
    Thanks to 73 years of Government sans Governance, India is the softest target among those who humiliated China then (British Empire, Russia, Japan, France, German Empire, US, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Netherlands Belgium, Spain, and the Mutual Protectorate of South East China). This eight Nation alliance was, essentially, fighting a war to impose Christianity and as regards the Non Christian Nations (Japan, South East China), their rights to loot China with impunity .
    The Chinese Emperor Qing and the Boxers (martial artists) had defeated this eight nation alliance when, in 1901, the British Empire fielded 20, 000 Indian soldiers who broke the back of the Chinese leading to the most humiliating terms including the mass execution of all Chinese officials who had backed or were suspected of backing the martial artists.
    It is gathering momentum now as India has been growing weaker day by day under the burden of its suicidal policies constructed by those who succeeded the British while China is growing stronger and stronger.India is ruled by a Politician-Bureaucrat Nexus that has no knowledge of anything beyond redistributing wealth by stealing from some for the benefit of others mainly the politicians, bureaucrats, judges, police and preferred vote banks. As behooves traditional bullies who have looted, plundered and raped helpless Indians for Seventy Three Years they are nonplussed when they face an armed enemy and prefer to pretend that such an enemy does not exist.
    In this very altercation, for example, Chinese troops circumvented the India China border treaties entered into by Rajiv Gandhi and Deve Gowda to not use guns within two miles of the LAC by attacking Indian soldiers with wooden clubs studded with sharp points (spiked maces). In retaliation, Indian Army is now fabricating similar maces! How absurd, India could go for a non cordite arms race with bows and arrows, catapults, or javelins, but, why all this? Now that China has abrogated the spirit of the treaties, why not simply start patrolling with weapons and respond with fire power?
    But India is weak, China is powerful.
    India’s Government has always been an “Uthara Kumara” since 1947 which boasts within the country, bullies and robs for the benefit of the powerful but tucks its tails between it legs and runs for good for nothing cover under other countries when under serious threat.
    India’s rulers have been unfit to rule right from 1947 to 2020 so it is that we have a “Government”inherited from the British designed to keep Indians subservient, importing goods, exporting wealth under a dispensation of “Divide to Rule” which steals from some for the benefits of others under various pretexts.
    India’s civilians, with rare exceptions, are cowards. This is why they have suffered the loot, rape and plunder by India’s Kleptocrats under the Moslems, the East India Company, the British and the post 1947 Christian, Moslem, Communist, WOG*, Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Naiker (PANGOLIN*) consensus which has plundered India without serious violent revolt.
    China (Communism) and Pakistan (Islam) covet all of India. But plan to take it slice by slice and with a thousand cuts. Mahomet (who was a camel driver) speaks of this in the story of the camel and the tent which became a central tenet of the desert bandit cult called islam. First the camel puts its head inside Mahomet’s tent, then little by little the camel works its way into the tent and Mahomet has to sleep outside.
    Nehru sacrificed Tibet to Mao hoping this would appease China. Mao then described Tibet as the palm of his hand reaching out for all of India and and the Indian territories of Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and Arunachal Pradesh as the five fingers of the palm. This is the basis of the Communist Party’s claim on all of India and like Mao, China follows the teachings of Sun Tsu. Islam however claims all of India on the basis of Quran and Hadith.
    So, India yielding even an inch of territory to the enemy is merely an incentive for the enemy to take more.
    The Government orphans the armed forces and National Security just as it orphans citizens not on Bureaucratic, Police, Judicial and Political service or pay roll: Out of sight out of mind?
    Every time there is an opportunity which the Chinese see, the Chinese come further into Indian territory. This is like moving forward towards the goal in Rugby or American football.’
    Apart from on going fluid opportunities due to lack of border infrastructure for the Indian Armed Forces, the Indian Army presented the Chinese with two significant opportunities, which they took advantage of.
    (1) During Kargil, the Indian soldiers were moved from their positions at Daulat Beg Oldie to reinforce the forces taking on Pakistan’s Norther nLight infantry in Kargil Heights. Kargil was a classic example of Indian failure in intelligence, logistics, military command and control as well as political leadership. In effect, the Pakis had moved into the heights and entrenched themselves when the Indian Army moved down during winter. Just as the Chinese did when the Indian Army moved from Pangong Lake (Daulat Beg Oldie) to Kargil. And India had to retake what was originally its own at enormous cost of Indian blood and lives owing to poor preparation, lack of ammunition, lack of reliable and appropriate equipment and weaponry, lack of co-ordination and laughable, unrealistic “Charge of the Light Brigade” Brass Hat commands, totally divorced from the reality on the ground or the methods of 20th Century warfare..
    (2) Owing to the lack of proper high altitude winter equipment, the Indian Army again moved to lower slopes more recently vacating territory which the Chinese quickly occupied.
    In both cases, the buck stops at the table of the politicians and bureaucrats at Delhi who constrain the Army into having to cope with what they have and carrying out orders issued with scant understanding of warfare or operational command. This the Government does not want exposed.
    The Indian Army on returning to these heights in fairer weather resume patrolling in India’s side of the LAC only to find themselves challenged by the Chinese who are now in occupation leading to these tussles.
    There is also the pathetic faith of India’s “diplomats”, “bureaucrats” and “politicians” that foreign powers are more honest than themselves and will adhere to promises, agreements and treaties more faithfully than they themselves do. Hence, there is an excessive faith in diplomacy and that China will adhere to what was the agreed Line of Actual Control rather than in building, refining and applying Indian hard power.
    In this witches’ brew, the cover up by India’s ruling class of their blunders lulls them into a state of self hypnosis or delusion which prevents them from learning the lessons of History. Particularly Indian military History which these blundering incompetent and corrupt wielders of power have buried.
    For just one example, the Henderson Brooks Report on India’s 1962 debacle has been covered up from Nehru to Modi, precisely because the Government is incapable of undoing the Himalayan blunder and taking back the strategic territories lost to China that will be demanded by public pressure when the public learn the full facts of the matter.

  9. What a load of nonsense. You know nothing about these corona bat eating yellow Peking man! They are imperialistic thugs who will lie, cheat, stab in your back. I am not interested in any agreement with them. I am interested in only giving the yellow men a bloody nose

    • I agree with Hartej,
      Panag’s is a very narrow view. He should look around to see what China is doing to its neighbours, Then perhaps Panag’s views will broaden.

  10. I want to give an alternative. If we propose to China that we accept the CPEC corridor and participate in it, provided you accept our sovereign control over this area of POK. China will sideline Pakistan and run the road and we get the administrative and territorial control over POK.

  11. We should just listen to India today and whoever praises Modi.If anyone disagrees with us we should blame them for interior motives or political witch hunting. if someone questions the army or Govt, we should call them traitors. Modi has destroyed India’s soft image.
    Shame on us for treating our minorities the way we did for last 4 years.

  12. What if China wants India to officially forgo its claim on Aksai Chin and Gigit-Baltistan? Obviously, India will not concede, unless it gets defeated in an all-out war and this seems to be quite remote possibility. Thus, the stand-off continues indefinitely. How long it can go on ? China has to gain something tangible from the exercise and that tangible could not be obviously impossible for India to concede. Furthermore, an ambiguous unspecified objective such as showing ‘ who is the big brother’ too doesn’t fit. How big brotherly status can be established unless India gets defeated just as in 1962.? Thus, we cannot simply presume that the current stand-off is just an empty gimmick and will not lead to war-like situation. Chinese motive is not clear till now, though it clear that we should be prepared to face any eventuality, even a violent war. But one thing is certain, India should not get provoked to act in an intemperate and impulsive manner. This could well be the motive – to tempt India to act irrationally and then to pass on the entire blame on India.

  13. It’s quite clear that the infamous IT cell is targeting the decorated and well respected Lt General, since he doesn’t mince his words in calling out strategic missteps and the need for course correction by the Govt of India. It will be better for India for the govt to pay heed to the sound advice to be able to handle China in right way. However, given the track record of the govt in handling respected and highly competent professionals like Dr Arvind and Dr Rajan, it’s quite unlikely that the wish will fructify. Most likely the top leadership will continue with its Superman syndrome.

  14. The problem is not with the content here by mr. Panag. The problem is with the headline given to this article by print media which is again with the intention to demean India & helping their Chinese sponsored to play psychological war with India. Thanks to social media, all these paid media houses are now being exposed.

  15. PVSM and AVSM! Not your Mohalla level bravery awards!! A million of IT cell troll army keyboard warriors quoting copy-paste talking points like Mir Jaffar etc. given by their political handlers, are no patch to the distinguished General.

    You guys, when you go and lie down on your bed in the night , try to feel a bit ashamed of your acts of trolling in the name of patriotism for sale.


    This ARTICLE IS FOR ALL THOSE Who are FAVOURING this content of Lt. Panag retd.

    China is occupying Nepal as well now. Tell me what reasons u made for these. Keep making to defend your boss to fund you. If China is so good, then why it needs Nepal, Myanmar, Ladakh, Hong Kong, South. China Sea and Taiwan…. List goes on…. Can u Mr. Retd LT and their supporters answer please.

  17. Author has not minced his words and put the picture clear in the open. Sympathize with those who cannot perceive the ground In between Strategy and Tactics. Chinese have flipped the LAC to suit their designs. Laid claims to more territory since the 50’s. They have on purpose kept the LAC delimited.
    India has to build up matching force levels.
    Sit on the heights and deny the valleys to the Chinese.

  18. India should not worry. Our 8th fail will transmit a 6 hour bhashan in Mandarian language, which will be aired live on fb and satellite tv of china.
    It is guaranteed that half of chinese people will do sucide on hearing idiotic bhaiyo aur behno for 14000 times in 6 hours of bakwas.
    India will capture Beijing, next day.

  19. This article by General Panag is extremely important as to my knowledge for the first time General Panag has mentioned some facts of which the general public is totally ignorant.
    In Genaral Panag’s words”India’s asylum to Dalai Lama in 1959 and the perceived training of Tibetan ‘rebels’ in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was a major factor that led to the 1962 war. The presence of the Dalai Lama in India, the Tibetan government in exile and 10,000 to 15,000 Tibetan soldiers trained as special forces is considered by China to be the most serious potential threat to its sovereignty. India is seen as the principal instigator of the Tibetan struggle for freedom.”
    From the above it is clear that even now India has 10,000 to 15,000 Tibetan soldiers trained as special forces. This puts the current events on the LAC and mcmahon line in a completely different perspective and indicates that matters are much more serious than most people think.

  20. China is changing its tune after the June 15 clash impact. PLA has realised it has barked on the wrong tree. India will act as per its own plan at a time & place of its choosing. Author is still thinking in the classical/ traditional point of view of territory gained or lost can never perceive the non linear approaches to be considered in multiple domains of warfare. China has forced India to change its priorities at the time of Chinese virus pandemic, but now worried about its consequences it has to face from IOR, SCS & ECS. India getting direct support from US and covert support from Russia has forced China to think twice before any more aggression as next time it may be too late to get a face saving opportunity from India.

  21. Why do I always find something discordant in the writings of Lt.Gen Panag? Do I have jaundiced eyes? He seems to think that India can do nothing right, and keeps stressing on the smaller capabilities and resources of India as against China. We don’t need a retired general to tell the country that.

    Anyway, if one were to compare the objectives of China and India as listed by the writer, the list of China’s objectives shows that China wants to browbeat India, another soverign country. Whereas, the list of objectives of India shows that India seeks to secure its interests, including its territories under others’ occupation. Now, tell us Genera! who is being aggressive?

  22. Always an anti-India writer. Did our military have such people? If this man commanded a war against our enemy, I dread to think what he would have done.

  23. Author writes with a clear strategy,even if it runs totally against his own diatribe submitted a week ago.His owning the strategy and subsequent repercussions of in great tradition of Mir Jafar.His prescient reading of the situation is admirable and will help in formulating strategy by the wise crack team at 10 Janpath and shall be shared by twitter specialist Rahul and echoed by Manmohan ,Sonia et al.

  24. “China is on LAC to tell India who the ‘big brother’ is, not to gain territory” …..and their puppets in India tell us through our media that we are the aggressors and we must back off.

  25. Sir you are confused what you have written . No one knows their intentions and aim. your Assumptions are totally wrong . If they dont want anything what they have come here. your previous artcicles are not corect

  26. sir you are confused what you have written . No one knows what there intentions are . Your previous articles are not not clear , what is there aim . your Assumptions are totally wrong

  27. Such a pessimistic view , I can hardly believe ,with all due respect, this is a view from a military leader. So unbecoming of a military leader. He doesn’t want to play on our strength , a basic rule of any combat. If this is the kind of military leadership we have nurtured over the last 7 decades , we have a real problem at hand. We need to drastically alter our military leadership training and culture. Military strategies are designed to win over enemy. This piece so vehemently longs for India’s defeat. This is a typical mindset with which we have operated and taken our policy of ahimsa to our boarders and that’s why we are in such precarious position both militarily , economically and socio politically in the most vulnerable border areas. If we have to do an honest and truthful analysis of why we are where we are , without any biases and pathetic self serving vested interest heavily inclined in favour a particular dispensation to keep in power a particular set of corrupt to the core politician who have been only doing politics of power , we will conclude that we have completely failed as a democracy and have fallen pray to a political regime that exploited every single rift and crack in our society and mind to the hilt to stay in power since power was not means to end but was the end goal for them. This is what leads to ruins we find ourselves in today . We didn’t had any vision as country ever , we still seems to be grappling with it, and the leaders who were supposed to provide that were extremely busy in keeping their daemonic, bloodsucking grip over power in tact so that they can promote their kith and kin to seat of power , This is ironically similar to the cast based approach used by medieval kings in India , which has led to fall of India to invaders . We have not changed since then, we still believe strongly in nepotism , dynasties and entitlements for underserving morons just because they are borne in so called royal khandans. When we as a society chose morons over capable and competent deserving individuals we will lose our sovereignty to aggressor like China , this has been our history since last 1000 years .

  28. Having enjoyed all the perks and continuing to buy stuff from the Army Canteen it is a shame that we have people expressing anti-India sentiment. There is class of people who relish anti-India news. Not that they are not patriots but it is the anti-Modi sentiment, that is so strong that it blinds everything else.
    Modi must have taken away something from them for such dislike.

  29. The General presents good arguments. His expertise will benefit India only if he engages with the Govt constructively.

  30. The only solution to this is military alliance with US. Paying money for American military bases and soldiers will be a net saving. Budget for defense can be reallocated elsewhere. American military base stimulates economy in its surrounding area.

  31. Firstly pl let sir, Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) opinion be known to us whether China is our big brother or not!
    A person’s perception changes with time.

  32. The Principles of War-The Strategy of Perseverance:
    Perseverance – to ensure the commitment necessary to attain the national strategic end state. As a lifetime soldier of the military organization called the Special Frontier Force also known as Establishment No. 22 and Vikas Regiment, I learned about the military strategy described as Perseverance.
    India and the world do not need satellite image evidence to know the fact of China’s military occupation of Tibet. Since 1950, India pursued the option of Strategic Perseverance to contain the national security threats posed by China’s illegal conquest of Tibet . India’s security interests will not be fully served by taking military action against the PLA who intruded into Indian territory across the McMahon Line. India’s security demands the total eviction of the military occupier of Tibet.
    To accomplish the above mentioned objective, India and Tibet are patiently waiting for the right time to launch their offensive operation which may include a global coalition of forces who may launch simultaneous attacks on other fronts apart from the Himalayan Frontier. We need the commitment of other nations. I am hopeful that the military mission will be accomplished as I describe it as “The Battle of Right Against Might” using the phrase coined by Gandhi as his battle plan to oppose the mighty British Empire.

  33. Are the so-called india’s partners in the south China sea group REALLY talking words of morale support to Narendra Modi? If yes, then they should have been more vocal about it. That would surely act as a counter weight. The way we are hearing news about China’s re-build up in Galwan and fresh build up in other places, I get the feeling that China has an impression that it has got a free hand here – – that, the international community has left India alone! Even in our news in papers and TV, I hardly see any report saying such and such world leader has said this about India China situation etc. In my own small way I’m worried and confused. I think even the Russian foreign minister has said that he won’t mediate or interfere or something like that.

    • Don’t try to pent up false Chinese supremacy , please read Harvard study on India -China military capabilities -

      It seems you are not tracking news , Please check Pompeo’s video , US is willing to deploy troops in India to counter china . Stop dreaming your own country because we don’t have a XI or perhaps a Gandhi or an Akbar with self appointed lifetime ruler

      • Pompeo’s statement came the very next morning after I had posted my comment in the night. Yes, that is reassuring, let’s hope Americans actually put this plan in action. One cannot be too sure with Trump.

  34. China entered Galwan on 5 May 2020 , on 15 Jun after one and half months order given to evict Chinese…..Indian Arsenals were hatching eggs

  35. Shame on Gen Panag , you have hit a new low… have destroyed the dignity of the post of lieutenant general. Modern day Mir Jafar

    • Thank You. I was shocked by the title of this opinion post. Firstly, China invaded Tibet in 1950 and wasted no time in grabbing Indian territory since that time. China should not be any where near the Line of Actual Control. Their aim is to nibble away Indian territory as much as possible while giving false assurances to India all the time.

      • Indeed! China wants to gobble up all smaller and weaker countries eh Tibet, Hongkong etc and now Nepal, then Bangla Desh, Cambodia, Myanmar, and possibly Pakistan eventually. India it will nibble and grab bit by bit keeping it busy while it tries achieving its bigger objectives…Salute to Taiwan, Japan, Philippines and Korea to keep it at bay in South China Sea since decades…how to stop this avarice is for smaller countries to form a union, an alliance which includes India…if formed, this would be a master stroke, backed by US

  36. After getting true information from your sources, finally, you have agreed with Modi that India has not lost one inch of land and our all border post are secured. India is a democratic nation and if China has changed LAC, the truth will be revealed.

  37. The only thing that’s clear from the article is also the one of concern too and that is, if the author is right, India will have to permanently letgo of PoK and infact forget that it ever existed as an Indian organ … Along with all the territory it has conceded to various neighbours at various parts of its border !!

  38. Chinese Chinkys have taken india for ride all this many years,, These clever cunning communist backstabbers can’t be trusted anymore…!!

  39. Sold media house doing propaganda of China ..why doesn’t govt ban such pathetic media outlet who are serving enemy’s interest…


  41. With due respect I disagree.

    From 1962 the claim line have always been fluid.

    We have lost 1/3 to dragon already and it still is capturing more. At this pace north of India will be eating Kung pao chicken instead of chole rajma.

    Last column you said just opposite.

    This makes your motives questionable and whether it’s in Bharats interest.

    Looks like repeat of plasi..with mir jafars like this who needs enemies.

  42. Then what about bullying Nepal, bhutan and all.. China is pomeranian by character. Barks at tigers and cats.. but when tiger roars back it hide behind and withdraws.

  43. Although I have great respect for the General but I fail to understand what objective it will serve by bringing reporters in a sensitive military conflict zone ? I mean that is going to be crazy which probably spoil all possibility of diplomatic push that India probably trying to do in order to push the PLA back !

  44. Dear Lt General Panag

    Thank you once again. This is informative. I used to be a Modi supporter although I have been increasingly disillusioned with him and his administration since 2020. We need your continuing erudite perspectives to understand the complex issues involved.

    • 1. China WILL gain territory: all of India, shared out with Pakistan. Bye-bye Sikhs in Punjab. China intends to tell India who the chaprassi is, not who the big brother is. India will be subordinate to Pakistan, China’s boasted Iron Brother, as well as to Big Boss China itself.

      2. Panag does not realise that India’s being a “cooperative junior partner” of China’s means junior to PAKISTAN as well as China and the end of the Indian Army? Forbidden by China to acquire advanced American arms – which America won’t give a Chinese puppet state – India will be a colony. Finis.

    • This is what this news website want to stop follwing Modi. createing distrust in him by fake news and agendas. and successfully u fall prey to them .

  45. General Panag’s comment that “..politicians have one major weakness—they repeat a lie so many times to shape public perception that after a point in time they themselves start believing in that lie.” is true for all government functionaries including army men. To give a very recent example just before abrogation of Article 370 the government anticipating a prolonged curfew wanted all non locals to leave the valley. Instead of saying so truthfully a top army officer told the press that army has received intelligence that Amarnath yatris will be attacked so all yatris would be asked to return.Everyone knew that it was hogwash. Even the Bihari laborers were asked by the local police to leave as a prolonged curfew would be imposed, but the habit of lying is so deeply ingrained in our system that it is considered a must do whether needed or not.This habit seems to permeate the system from the very top ( I will not name the post) to the lowly peon.
    As far as China’s intent in Ladakh is concerned it seems that all China wants is to increase the cost for India for staying in Ladakh. It knows that keeping large number of troops at LAC and aircraft ready for action entails a heavy price and for China, which according to Graham Allison likes to play “GO” or “weiqi” and not chess, time does not matter. According to Sun Tzu “Far better than challenging the enemy on the field of battle is.. maneuvering him into an unfavorable position from which escape is impossible”.If the opponent is foolish then so much the better.

  46. Till we have matching economic and military power, we should accept we are a junior power, and work to develop the first two. Indians, in particular Hindus who follow Modi, think being a superpower should be a default status for India. Aspiration has to be matched by capability. When all you can do is wreck the economy, make Indians fight, neglect healthcare and education, how can you be other than a junior player in the world ? Kissinger described India as the biggest non-important country. It has not changed; the only change is Hindus have developed delusions of being a super power. Ironically, this delusion came due to the high growth achieved during the Manmohan era.

    • I can sense a stench of 1000 year old hatred here manifesting itself as a silent, slithering virus load waiting for an opportune moment , similar to 1947 or 1989, to explode into an heinous bloody ,violent monster hungry for human flesh, especially and in particular of Hindus. Bravo

  47. I dont know why most of RSS and BJP trolls and Bhakts tey to undermine Lt Gen HS Panag.He is straight,eloquent and gives a Frank and Pragmatic advice.
    If Indian military leadership is not paying heed to his analysis and recommendations than India is in for big trouble.
    Kudos to Gen Panag for an incisive postmortem

  48. I have found Panag to be most incoherent among the columnists covering the clash. Regular defence journalists have covered the issue more holistically and without any bias. Panag should take a break from this disillusioned state of his mind.

  49. We should be thankful to Panag for reading the Chinese mind! However, let us state our position as well- If China does not restore status quo ante in a foreseeable future, as agreed between the commanders, it serves political interest of Modi and BJP. Modi will not hesitate to go for a short skirmish and clear the areas to restore the status quo ante. That apart, Modi will formalize Quad, recognize Taiwan and raise issue of Tibet. If Baloch independence movement gathers mass with support from USA and India, China and CPEC will be in trouble. If provoked, Modi can as well go to any extent, as as shown during surgical and Balakot strikes. Armed forces are also eager for a confrontation with China. 2020 is not 1962 is true not just for Indian Army but for the Indian PM too.

    • Wishful thinking. Hindutva brains and courage are not up to it. Modi and his bhakts are the proof. If Modi tries anything, Xi will use a bigger stick. Modi knows it.

  50. A few observations for the general:-

    China was and is aware of India’s claim to POK and GB which we have always shown in our maps and statements given from time to time. It has fully considered the options and then gone ahead with CPEC maybe with the idea that India will only protest and take no action. It’s thinking has gone wrong here and it is now thinking about the physical and military harm that India can do to the CPEC now.

    China doesn’t care about 10,000 or more Tibetan soldiers. They are more concerned about the Dalai Lama and his value used against China. There is no Tibetan govt in exile to speak about. Maybe if the USA recognizes Tibet as an independent country there will be a difference in their thinking about the Tibetan govt in exile but not now.

    The territory it is now trying to establish a presence in and dominate ground is that which gives India the ability to interfere with the CPEC in Ladakh and further on in the Chumbi valley for its China Bangladesh Economic Corridor. Its strategic aim is these two corridors and whatever else falls into its hands is add on. If it cuts off the NE via the chicken neck it will demand Arunachal Pradesh.

    The Chinese will continue their land grab tactics as they are doing everywhere. For us it is a matter of prestige and survival. We have to focus on our strengths and meet them head on using all diplomatic channels besides our economic clout and our military strength. The army has changed since you left and there is also change in equipment, organisation and mindset. You were from the defensive mindset era. Let the people in charge do their job and you play golf or whatever you do.

  51. The author is a veteran soldier of high rank. Must have seen armed conflict too. Yet he says that govt should take journalist crooks in helicopters and show them the LAC as if they represent India or they will judge on behalf of the populace.
    ” Cinematic solutions? ” We read the print due to its relatively better credibility as far as unbiased report. Here we come across a retd army guy smelling bias in his views. *Any sour grapes”?

    • When we could take even international politicians to see J & k to try and present the situation there as normal not sure why we hesitate to take our own journalists there. The answer is pretty obvious but I doubt you will be able to see it.

  52. Hindi Chinni Bhai Bahi. A decades old failed idea. When will our leaders learn. Understand they neighbor before dealing with him. Indian leadership has either not understood China or pretend to look the other way. To understand Pakistan it took then 70 years.

  53. With due respects to you Sir, you seem to have compromised your four decades of service to the nation by becoming a contributor to a few media outlets of dubious repute. I am sure that if you have the best of the country, which no one doubts, you should get in touch with them in services or government rather than becoming a pawn to the media which under the freedom of expression nonsense turn the guns on the nation more often than not. Good luck Sir.

  54. In a very simple language it means that China now controls Asia’s largest water shed.In future Beijing will be dictating New Delhi what it should do and what it shouldn’t do.

  55. @krish , after his retirement he was appointed on the armed forces tribunal by a particular govt in 2009, his all opinions are in the service of pappu. It costs nothing to articulate any opinion when it is sans facts

  56. To a completely neutral observer – though not to a nationalistic Indian – China’s strategic aims do not seem unreasonable, all the more if viewed in relation to the economic / military asymmetry between the two countries. We have no idea how anxious the people of PoK / GB are to become part of India. In the case of Aksai Chin, the yaks will have to voice their opinion. If China wants to broker peace between India and Pakistan, that could hardly be regarded as threatening. Or to develop better economic relations, including joining BRI / CPEC, although the economic viability of the project does not seem to be living up to expectations. 2. A setback will set us back by decades … Not a prospect one looks forward to, nor should anyone who wishes India well. 3. Why we are still in denial about the situation … That happens all the time, in all domains, including the economy.

    • This is my opinion too. China’s ambitions have outgrown southeast Asia and taken on a global character. India was courted as an ally but failing this the strategy is clear-not a mere show of dominance but a systematic decimation in both the diplomatic as well as the geopolitical fronts. It is however inconceivable that the china-india-pakistan alliance that Beijing proposed could have ever worked given the vitriol that have been stoked to a fever pitch in both nations. Cathartic is the word that comes to mind. Hereon the sagacity of our political leaders and diplomats will have a far more crucial role to play than that of our soldiers and generals.

  57. Author is right…………….What China is publicly telling Modi Govt……………Fight or Bow down…………As usual Modi govt cannot decide…..meanwhile China will keep kicking the Indian Butt…..till Modi decides !!!!

  58. The classic case of communist colonel (I know he is retired Gen.) they go with the wind the only thing matter to them is free money like all the communist money need to keep coming .
    The only thing they won’t do is criticize communist rule.

  59. The revelation that Congress (UPA-1) wanted to cede Siachen to Pakistan is another nail in the coffin of credibility of the Congress and unfortunately of everyone associated with the Congress,
    Congress cannot be trusted anymore. The BJP is acceptable in spite of their minor faults.

  60. One day he says Indian ‘finger is under Chinese boot’ today he says they don’t want our territory. He must decide first.

    • China policy is creap in and stay there and that is how they are controlling tibet, Nepal now, the present Indian government should defeat evil design china and have diplomatic tie with China and Tibet to some extent srilanka and bangaladesh and Burma. The subsequent changes of Indian government fail diplomatic ally to bring monumental changes without our neighbors, the present government doing it best now with Nepal to recover. Now it is now high time India should have different policy towards china and seperatly deal with roghue Pakistan

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