Unlike the Line of Control (LoC), the Line of Actual Control (LAC) maintains a semblance of tranquillity round the year all along the long porus India-China border in the Himalayas. LoC is always hot. It is shelling and counter-shelling round the year. As both sides—India and Pakistan—are looking for expansion of territorial control violence is the logical culmination. Net result : destruction of life and property on both sides of the fence. Indian and Pakistani inhabitants residing near LoC suffer immensely. Schools are destroyed. As for LAC it shows every sign of accomodation and improved relationship between India and China, thanks to President Xi's sideline diplomacy. The Chinese put enormous faith in dialogue culture and in the long run it pays dividends. They have Himalayan patience and bull-dog tenacity to convince others through dialogue and negotiations. Despite a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in 2017 India finally seems to have reconciled itself to the hard ground reality that it cannot reverse China's stand and claims on Doklam by applying force. History is on their side.

Meanwhile, the Chinese army patrolling the long India-China border showed extra-ordinary good-will gentures towards their Indian counterparts in recent weeks. It is unthinkable in Pakistan. The People's Liberation Army of China (PLA) very recently celebrated their 92nd foundation anniversary and invited Indian army jawans and officers to participate in foundation function. Indians obliged with enthusiasm along the LAC at different locations.

The Eastern Command, Amry Commander, Lt Gen M N Navarane, who has been appointed the next vice-chief of the Indian Army, said, some what eloquently that "The differences between India and China concerning the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is gradually dissolving through dialogues between both sides". An achievement!

The Chinese have no parallel in diplomacy, both nationally and internationally. It may take time but time is no factor for them. Both India and China are in the 23rd or 24th round of bilateral talks. They hope to continue the peace process without jeopardising the good-will spirit shown by the PLA.

For one thing, the Chinese have not conceded an inch in Doklam and yet they have not allowed the situation to drift towards chaos. As for the boundary dispute in the Himalays the Chinese will never change their stated position as propounded in their 1962-conflict related documents.

The PLA foundation celebration event was a beautiful occasion to exchange cultural performances and offer good food to all participants. If they indulge in such festive atmosphere frequently the prolonged perception of animosity will pave the way for mutual understanding and faith.

Of late the Chinese President Xi is making overtures to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of every international summit. China needs peace to make its grandiose Belt and Road Instive successful. America needs throw in India-Pakistan relations for Afghanistan and China needs the same to execute their various multi-billion dollar projects.

Even if Kashmir imbroglio is resolved to the satisfaction of all contending parties, communal hatred that gave birth to Pakistan will linger. Given the supercharged situation in Balochistan, Pakistan seems to heading towards another dismembering.

Right now the point at issue is whether India could reciprocate positively on 92nd PLA ceremony to their advantage.

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Vol. 52, No. 7, Aug 18 - 24, 2019