Who is behind Tibetan Militants?
In the recent months, more than 50 ethnic Tibetans died through self-immolation in China, which included many Buddhist monks and nuns, calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of their spiritual leader, Dalai Lama who has lived in exile in India since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
Many Buddhist Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of religious repression, while eroding their culture, as majority of Han ethnic group also lives in the regions.
In the past few years, several persons died in the terror-incidents and ethnic riots occurred in various regions of China’s Xinjiang-the largely populated Muslim province. In January, this year, Chinese Police shot dead more protesters in Tibetan territories as unrest spread to some other areas including China’s Sichuan province which was rocked with ethnic clashes. And in February, terrorists killed 13 people in Kashgar.
In that context, on January 24, US said that it was seriously concerned with heavy hands by the Chinese security forces. In reaction, a China’s spokesman Hong Lei accused “overseas secessionist groups” of trying to discredit the government by hyping accounts of what happened, while Chinese news agency, Xinhua, revealed that police used lethal force after a violent mob attacked on them.
However, for all the incidents, India blamed Pakistani militants for supporting the insurgency to deteriorate Sino-Pak ties and to cover India’s role behind Tibetan militancy.
But during the visit of a Chinese delegation on October 29, 2012, while hinting towards India, US and some western countries, Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs supported Chinese stand on Tibet and Sinkiang issues. It also condemned the miscreants for disturbing peace of Tibetan areas in the name of Jihad as well as defaming Islam in pursuit of western vested agenda.
In fact, Indian secret agency RAW with the assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad have intermittently been arranging subversive acts in China’s Tibetan regions For this purpose, RAW has set up a number of camps where Tibetan militants are being imparted training, and are being sent to China along with arms and ammunition. Besides, these agencies also incite Tibetan religious extremists for independence, who have been setting themselves on fire. In this regard, with the backing of RAW, a Tibetan exile set himself to ablaze in New Delhi on March 26 to protest the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India. But, protests are common during Chinese leaders’ visits to Delhi. These secret entities are also fueling tension between the mainly Muslim Uighur people and Han Chinese to destabilise China.
Notably, on March 10, 2008, when anti-government violent protests by Buddhist monks erupted in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa and nearby provinces, India, while acting upon a secret diplomacy, assisted the same.
In that context, Indian Former Foreign minister Yashwant Sinha had argued that we should intervene to secure Tibet’s freedom, adding, “We want good relations with China. But if we reach a point of conflict over Tibet, we should be prepared for that eventuality.”
In May 1998, while advocating Tibetan independence, Indian former Defence Minister George Fernandes had declared that “China is India’s potential threat No. 1.”
Meanwhile, Indian media had left no stone unturned in exaggerating the casualties by manipulating China’s crackdowns against the militants of Tibet—which were essential to restore law and order. Full coverage was given to the Tibetan leaders and some western propagandists against Beijing. In fact, both New Delhi and Lama had covertly planned bloodshed in Tibetan territories, motivating the people for liberation.
In response, China’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily had said that Dalai Lama had “never abandoned violence since fleeing to India”, and was scheming to take the Beijing Olympics of August 2008 hostage to force China to make concessions for Tibet’s independence.
Indian dual Tibet policy has significant security problems for China due to the entanglement of the issue in the Sino-Indian border dispute. In the post-1949 period, New Delhi urged China to let Tibet be an autonomous region. On April 29, 1954, through an agreement, India had recognised Tibet as part of China. After the Indo-China war of 1962, Beijing returned the land it occupied in Arunachal Pradesh. Indeed, China’s claim over Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) on the basis of old Tibetan religious links is logical.
Now, India which apparently shows mutual cooperation with China, is showing inactive approach in the solution of border dispute. But it has secretly been increasing military build up near the Chinese border coupled with covert support to the Tibetan insurgents.
There are also other reasons behind Indian double game. Fast growing economic power of China, its strategic relationship with Pakistan and development of Gwader seaport in Balochistan irk the eyes of America and India. Besides, US-India nuclear deal, supply of sophisticated weapons to New Delhi, Obama’s recent defence strategy, which calls for greater US military presence in Asia, maintenance of six permanent bases in Afghanistan including Indian role there after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014 and Indo-US anti-Pakistan secret game are part of American desire to make India a major Asian power to counterbalance China. But Chinese see India as a “future strategic competitor” rather than a partner.
US President Barack Obama had also met Dalai Lama to indirectly encourage militancy in China. While, human rights groups of the US and some western countries exploit extra-judicial killings by Chinese Security forces to give so-called moral support to the Tibetan separatist elements so that they continue their subversive activities in these areas.
Nevertheless, the new spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhist monks and successor of Dalai Lama, Lobsang Sangay, head of the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile has called on the international community “to not remain passive” and “to intervene to prevent further bloodshed” by the Chinese security forces.
Nonetheless, with the tactical support of US, India which has given shelter to Dalai Lama along with his 120,000 Tibetan followers is assisting militants in the Tibetan regions to dismember China.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations