13th November 2012
DM finished reading the thick 100+ page file that contained bulk of agreements signed between India and China, closed his eyes and leaned back on his chair. He had been working like a mule for last two weeks and it was the first moment in many days when he felt that he could relax. Even then, he couldn’t help but think about the deal that was about to be finalised with Chinese. Initially, Chinese negotiations team was really stubborn and inflexible, but Indians were quite a match for them and had succeeded in getting a favourable agreement after mostly acrimonious talks that lasted almost a week. But owing to unprecedented extraordinary circumstances, it was finalized in a record time.
As was expected, the talks had started in a very hostile environment. Chinese armed forces had suffered horrendous losses without much to show for it. Additionally, they had been forced to cede ground to supposedly numerically and technically inferior enemy. Their humiliation was made even worse by the capture of 2 nuclear missiles along with 100s of soldiers and capture of an intact nuclear submarine followed by sinking of another two even before the hostilities had begun. Unlike the conflict in J&K-Tibet; area that followed later, these incidents had been milked to their last drops by Indians on world stage. PLA officers which formed the bulk of Chinese negotiations team were none too happy for that. They had shown their displeasure over what was termed as”lack of maturity and foresight” by India, which was promptly rebutted by their Indian counterparts.
As was expected, Chinese had brought up every outstanding issue including status of Tibetan rebels, Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin etc., many of which had little to do with the task at hand. These tactics were meant to throw Indians off the guard but Indians too had good experience in such matters and the negotiations had dragged on for days before USA and Russia had put in all of their resources forcing the two belligerent nations to hammer out a compromise. Chinese were loathe to admit that India had successfully used tactical nuclear weapons on four of their bases and had vigorously denied all such reports. India on it’s part maintained a stony silence. But within days of the attack, proofs to this effect had been released in public domain. There was much brouhaha in the usual circles, bringing even more pressure to get an effective ceasefire.
Chinese had agreed to Indian claim on Pakistan occupied part of J&K; earlier, but balked and nearly walked out when Indians staked their claim on Shaksgam Valley and Aksai Chin. Indians on their part pointed out that Shaksgam valley was more or less under Indian control and so was almost 40% of Aksai Chin. Indian offensive had been halted just a few 10s of KMs from the vital Chinese National Highway 219. But Chinese in spite of putting in best of their efforts had been unable to push back Indians from any front except a couple.
After much heated and prolonged talks, Chinese had agreed to hand over control of Shaksgam Valley to India, in exchange of Indian pull back in Aksai Chin which was hotly contested by Indians leading to another deadlock. This was broken off after much haggling and heart burn on both sides.
After many such deadlocks, gist of some important agreements were:
1) All of J&K; except Aksai Chin under Indian control. All of Pakistan occupied J&K; and Shaksgam Valley under sovereign Indian control accompanied by removal of all Chinese personnel from these areas.
2) India withdraws forces from Aksai Chin back to their previous positions. Indian team spent longest amount of time on this as the territorial gains made in the sector was substantial. . Indians agreed to only a partial withdraw and refused to abandon their new and advantageous positions The issue was not solved to satisfaction of either party and left for future talks.
3) Assurance by both nations over non-interference in each other’s internal conflicts. In nutshell, all Indian support to Tibetan rebels inside China ceases. Similarly, China stops supporting Naxals and separatist groups in north-east India.
4) In spite of their best efforts, Indians were unable to get anything agreed upon Chinese claims on Arunachal Pradesh. The matter too was left undecided pending further discussions.
5) Unconditional release of all the prisoners from both sides. Considering that Chinese formed almost all of the group, they were rather keen on it and willing to get it over with as soon as possible. The issue of two nuclear missiles and submarine was contested by India as winner’s right to the war trophy. India later agreed to hand over the weapon systems back to China (after suitable investigations).
6) Chinese delegation was put under considerable pressure by Indians over the issue of extradition and trial of Chinese personnel responsible for nuclear attack on India. India never had any kind of extradition treaty with China and they used this loophole to wriggle free. Only consolation available to India were assurances “set in stone” that the guilty people will be tried and punished under international observation
After a while DM opened his eyes and called for Defence Secretary Pillai. He was one of the most senior members from the Indian negotiations team and had drafted a significant part of the recently signed agreement himself. DM had picked up the file again and was leafing through the pages when he entered. Pillai greeted the minister and waited for him to speak. DM put the file down and said, ” “Well Pillai jee. Seems like we’ve done not a really bad job after all .”
“Not the best, but could’ve done worse. Got most of what we wanted in J&K;, but couldn’t get anything done on Arunachal and extradition. A mixed bag if you ask me.”
DM nodded, ” Nobody ever gets everything. They refuse to handover those criminals, we refuse to go back from Aksai Chin.”
Pillai looked at the file on table and said, “That’s what is troubling me. Don’t you think that it’ll provoke them in to engaging even more mischief than usual.”
DM stood up and walked to the window of his office. After staring outside for a while, he turned and faced DS., “We’ve been dealing with their mischief for decades now. One time we stood up to their bullying, they back down like a whipped dog. After what we’ve gone through, I’m not afraid of anything. If they have any problem with our attitude, too bad mate. But that’s how things are going to be from now on. ”
A surprised grin formed on Pillai’s face as he heard somewhat undiplomatic words coming out of possible Prime Minister of India. “So, we’re signing it right now ? ”
DM nodded, ” Yes. No point in delaying it further. I also need you to prepare a press release and a speech for the press conference. I’ll need you besides me there. ”
“Yes sir.” Pillai stood up to take his leave.
3 February 2013
BNT News Release
Emergency workers and rescuers have found no trace of General Kong and retired CPC member An Wang, after the yacht they were sailing in disappeared in South China sea, just a few KM away from coastal city of Shantou . Till now, only parts of the yacht have been discovered floating just a few km from the area where it was last reported to be 36 hours before. It had lost contact with mainland and other ships in middle of the night during a low intensity rain storm.
Search for the yacht and it’s occupants is still going on. According to one rescue worker, it’s nearly impossible for a yacht of that size to disappear just like that without any one seeing it at least once. Each passing moment with no trace of survivors makes any chance of their survival extremely bleak.
Although it was never declared publicly, these two were some of the senior most Chinese officials forced to resign from their posts over the role they had allegedly played in incidents that had lead to a nuclear conflict with India.
6th February 2013
Xinhua News Agency
3 PLA personnel lost their lives in a tragic road accident in Dagze. a small town near Lhasa. Dead include General Chan , his aide Major Kong and driver Corporal Fai. According to witnesses, Corporal Fai lost control of the car they were traveling in while negotiating a sharp turn and hit a road barrier. The car turned turtle on hitting the barrier and rolled down the slope to the gorge below killing all it’s occupants on the spot. Their bodies have been recovered and sent to their families for last rites.
General Chang just had just assumed command of PLA’s Dagze supply base and was on an familiarisation tour when the mishap occurred.
8th Feruary 2013
New Delhi, India
NSA chief Angad, entered the office of India’s newest PM and handed him a file, “Last night, Chinese forces again shelled some of our posts in Aksai Chin. No causalities, but seems like that they are making a routine of it.”
“I suppose, some people in China are getting scared.” PM Shivendra smiled and started browsing through the file. “What is going on with our Tibetan friends ?”
“They’re getting restless now. They say that they’ve been lying low for long enough. I think they are right. They’ve had ample time to train, regroup and gather supplies.”
PM nodded, “I know. Tell them to wait just a little bit more. Also send my personal thanks for their help in our little mission in Dagze. They deserve whatever we can offer them.”
Angad nodded his head in agreement and stood up to leave. Apparently, war was not over yet.
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