Indian Defence Minister A. K. Anthony has said, while addressing the Indian Army Commanders Conference in New Delhi, that the alliance between Pakistan and China is a danger to India for which it is ready. Mr Anthony’s outburst must be seen in the context of the illegal occupation by India, not Pakistan or China, of Kashmir. This occupation not only affects Pakistan, but also China, whose border demarcation difficulties in this area go back to imperial China and the British Raj. It is true that a shared frustration at Indian intransigence is one of the factors that have contributed to bringing Pakistan and China closer, but to say that this constitutes an alliance is to box at shadows.
Mr Anthony may not specifically have referred to a recent Wikileaks release of a map showing Kashmir as divided in two haves, though he was the Indian Minister who said that this map did not mean India accepted the division. It is true that the map did not mean that it accepted the division; but it must fulfill the commitments it has made, such as accepting that it had a responsibility to the international community to accept its decision on a dispute it had itself taken there. And that solution consists in making arrangements to enable the UN to supervise a plebiscite in the Held Valley through which its people are to exercise their inherent right of self-determination. It is to avoid such a plebiscite that Mr Anthony is conjuring up the bogey of a China-Pakistan alliance.