Pune: The year 2017 saw the standoff between the Indian armed forces and the People’s Liberation Army of China over construction of a road in Doklam, at the tri-junction of Bhutan, China and India (Sikkim). On the other hand, firing by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, continued like in previous years.
However, it was the conflict with China, the first since 1986-87, that saw synergy between the Indian military, political and diplomatic class of not succumbing to Chinese pressure.
“Despite provocative reports in Chinese media, which is controlled by the government, the Indian media showed restraint. The Chinese follow the theory of their military strategist Sun Tzu, who said that ‘To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill’. They were indulging in psychological operations and spreading false propaganda about the Indian military. But we didn’t budge from our positions and stood in front of them with firm grit. This has boosted the morale of our troops. It was possible because the government and military were on the same page,” said a senior army officer, who dealt with the crisis.
Regarding the situation on Line of Actual Control (LAC) along the China border, the government on Monday said, “The Army is poised all along the LAC and status quo is being ensured.”
On June 16, 2017, Chinese troops along with construction vehicles and road-building equipment began extending an existing road southward in Doklam, a territory which is claimed by both China as well as India’s ally Bhutan. On June 18, 2017, around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers, entered Doklam to stop the Chinese troops from constructing the road. On August 28, both India and China announced that they had withdrawn all their troops from the face-off site in Doklam.
Pakistan’s never-changing attitude
There is an old Indian proverb which says, ‘A dog’s tail stays crooked, even if it is buried for twelve years’. In Pakistan’s case, 70 years have passed but there has been no change in its attitude. Though there was no major attack this year from Pakistan, civilians staying close to the borders faced the brunt of firing from Pakistan. In counter insurgency operations, over 200 militants were killed this year, which is the highest ever number.
“The security situation in J&K, despite a lot of challenges, has been brought under control. Relentless operations by the Army both along the Line of Control (LoC) and in the hinterland, have thwarted the designs of giving a fillip to the proxy war being waged against India. The Army, along with the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and the J&K Police, continues to put pressure to bring back normalcy to the Kashmir Valley,” states the Ministry of Defence press release issued on Monday.
Internal security situation in North East
Intelligence-based operations were launched along the Indo-Myanmar border to maintain peace and to effectively neutralise terrorists.
As part of its role of providing security to shipping in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Navy continues to deploy one ship for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden. A total of 65 warships have were deployed till December 17, which have safely escorted over 3,788 (including 405 Indian flagged) ships with over 24,858 mariners embarked. Till date, the navy has thwarted 44 piracy attempts and apprehended 120 pirates. There was an increase in piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden and off Somali coast in 2017, as compared to the last four years.
Air Force’s new acquisitions
An agreement was signed with France for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft. The squadrons are expected to be formed by 2022. The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted six more C-130J all-weather transport aircraft, which are designed for special operations.
Advanced indigenous weapons such as ‘BrahMos’ supersonic cruise missile and ‘Astra’ Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile have been indigenously integrated and fired from Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft.