4th November 2011
Somewhere in India
Defence Secretary Pillai had 24 hour access to Indian Defence Minister who was also looking over tasks of Prime Minister. PM had been operated upon to correct his heart condition and was still in ICU. Although the work load and responsibilities were enormous, DM seemed to be thriving and egging on his colleagues and subordinates to perform even better. DS Pillai didn’t mind it at all and had been involved in hectic parleys with Chinese himself. He called DM with a new message from his counterpart in Chinese ministry,
“Sir, Chinese want to negotiate. They’ve agreed to some of our demands.”
If he was affected by the news, DM gave no outer sign of it, “Some of them ?”
“Yes sir. They’ve agreed to allow us access to Admiral Xedong in prison. We can dispatch a team to interrogate him this evening itself.”
“They are not deporting him ? What about rest of his co-conspirators ?”
“According to them, investigations are still going on and they haven’t arrested anybody else yet pending further developments. Access to other suspects will be on case by case basis.”
DM nodded warily, “Sure. What else ?”
“They are ready to consider our claim on PoK, pending further high level talks of course.”
DM showed first sign of real interest, “ That’s interesting. Anything about Shaksgam Valley and Aksai Chin ? “
“According to them, those areas are Chinese territory. Concessions if any will be given on areas held by Pakistan only.”
“We’ll see to that. What are their demands ?”
“Unconditional release of all of their civilians, sailors and soldiers that we have in our custody. Giving back their submarine and nuclear missiles, an official apology for attack on Chinese positions inside POK and sympathy on Xinjiang and Tibet civil unrest issue.”
DM snorted in amusement, “That’s interesting. You’ve done a good job Shri Pillai. Let me think on this or a while.”
Call was disconnected and everybody in room shared glances. Apparently, Chinese had been facing their worst nightmares, isolation and condemnation from rest of the world, rebellion in two provinces, covert attacks by multiple parties on overseas assets and worst of all, loss of face.
NSA chief Angad spoke first, “That’s quite generous of our peaceful neighbours !”
DM raised his eyebrows questioningly to which Angad replied, “They have given up nothing while asking for everything. POK was never theirs to begin with, it was between us and Pakis. Aksai Chin and Shaksgam Valley don’t even figure in negotiations.
We get to interrogate Xedong but no extradition. We can’t prosecute him in our courts, almost all of other big fish will wiggle free and we’ll never get one single extradition. Fat lot of good it’ll do to us.
Now, look at their demands. They’ve asked for all of our bargaining chips and then some more. Sympathy on Xinjiang and Tibet ! What the hell they are smoking ? Asking for release of prisoners is one thing but what’s the deal with their unconditional release ? I say, let every single one of them rot in our jails till the guilty Chinese are extradited and executed. “
DM sighed and spoke, “You said it yourself that a lot of highest ranks were involved in whole conspiracy. Do you think either of them will get punished ? Even Xedong has been arrested only because Peng probably sees him as a threat and thus he is the most convenient scape-goat.
If I had my own way, I’d have launched those Gilgit missiles on these idiots the moment we had captured them. Would have saved us the hassle of negotiating with these retards.”
“I’d have shrunken in horror if anybody had said this a week earlier, but right now, I can’t say that I disagree After what they’ve done to us since the last 50 years, I feel like obliterating them myself..” Angad paused for a while while looking absently at the bunch of papers lying before him. “Anyway, what do you think we should do right now ? Send a team to interrogate Xedong right now ?”
“I don’t suppose that’s going to mean anything. Maybe Xedong is just a smoke screen. I am reasonably sure that he will say exactly what he will be taught to say by his masters. A bloody sacrificial goat if anything at all.” DM shook his head in anger then spoke again, “ But we don’t have any good information on rest of his companions ourselves. So we can’t put any pressure on them. Let’s take the bait for now. See what we come up with. Assemble a team and coordinate with Chinese over this offer. Regarding POK and Aksai Chin, I’ll pick up a team for negotiations myself. Nobody makes any public statements right now and everything is strictly on need to know basis unless I specify otherwise. Now let’s get busy.”