Institution for Strategic & Security Studies and Research

10 Jan 2020 (Friday)

Panel Discussion

Topic India and United Nations
Speaker Lt Gen Jasbir Lidder, UYSM, AVSM (Retd) & Lt Gen Iqbal Singh Singha, AVSM, VSM (Retd)
Gyan Chakra

07 Sep 2019 (Saturday)

Talk

Topic Make in India - Army's Role in Design and Development
Speaker Lt Gen HM Singh, VSM (Retd)
Gyan Chakra

20 Sep 2019 (Saturday)

Panel Discussion

Topic Artificial Intelligence - An Instrument of War Fighting
Speaker Panelists Later
Gyan Chakra

09 Aug 2019 (Friday)

Book Discussion(USI-Gyan Chakra-PU Event)

Topic India - Tibet Relations from 1947-62 Three Volumes
Speaker Mr. Claude Arpi
Punjab University Auditorium

22 Jun 2019 (Saturday)

Talk

Topic GEO-POLITICS AND GEO-ECONOMICS OF PAKISTAN
Speaker Mr RK Kaushik, IAS
Gyan Chakra Lecture hall

General

1. A talk on the subject “Geo-Politics and Geo-Economics of Pakistan” was delivered by Mr RK Kaushik, IAS, Commissioner Faridkot Division & Secy Power, Punjab Govt on Saturday, 22 Jun 2019 at Gyan Chakra Lecture hall. It was attended by about 60 veterans and serving officers. The guest speaker and the subject were introduced by Maj Gen PJS Sandhu (Retd), Director, Gyan Chakra.

Salient Points

2. The Speaker commenced his talk by giving a brief history of The Creation of Pakistan and growth of its polity. Pakistan felt insecure from the very beginning and considered India as its main adversary. India and Pakistan had fought four wars but none of the problems have been resolved. The democratic form of Govt has not been able to establish itself in Pakistan so far. Out of 73 years of its existence, Army has ruled Pakistan directly and for the remaining period it has exercised undue influence in matters of governance.

3 Shri R K Kaushik while covering Geo-politics of Pakistan mentioned that since its creation till today Pakistan had received 41 billion USD from the USA and 18 billion USD aid from other countries. However, history of Pakistan has had weak democracy with corrupt leadership. It was with this realization that the present Prime Minister, Mr Imran Khan was elected with the help from Pakistan Army to get rid of corrupt regimes of Zardari’s and Nawaz Sherif.

4. The Speaker emphasised the importance of ‘The Establishment’ (meaning the army and the bureaucracy) in running the country, especially the foreign policy of Pakistan. Due to the overarching role of ‘The Establishment’, the civilian governments have not been able to play a meaningful role; except during short periods of initial four years and later after 1971 when Bhutto was the Prime Minister till he was ousted in a coup and later hanged. 5. Speaker while giving out details of Geo-economics of Pakistan stated that trade deficit of Pakistan was 20.5 billion USD. Its currency stands at one USD equal to 158 Pakistani rupees. It has an annual budget of 46 billion USD out of which 48 per cent goes to the Armed Forces; hence, only 52 per cent is left with the Government for running the Country. Pakistan owes repayment of 11 billion USD loan in next one year, whereas it has received 8.1 billion USD in aid from Saudi Arabia, China and UAE. It is difficult for Mr Imran Khan’s govt to survive for more than one year, unless he is able to turn around the economic situation.

6. The Speaker brought out that Pakistan always felt threatened from India. Accordingly, it has always aligned itself to one super power and one major power. After, Xi Jinpig’s visit in 2015 – CPEC was started with a loan of 62 billion USD; out of which 19 billion USD have already been invested. There are approx 1.5 lakh Chinese workers in Pakistan in connection with the CPEC. The Pakistan’s proximity to China is not to the liking of the USA; and its relations with US are having a dip at present. The US disengagement from Afghanistan is unlikely without any concrete solution, whereas Pakistan is actively involved in Afghanistan to curtail India and have strategic depth. Though, Pakistan’s relations with Iran are again not so good due to its inaction to stop atrocities on 16 per cent Shia population of Pakistan.

Conclusion

7. The Speaker concluded that the next one year would be crucial for Imran Khan Govt, whether it is able to steer the country out of the economic mess or not. Talk was followed by a very stimulating interactive session during which our relations with Pakistan, its involvement in Kashmir, solution to Kashmir problem and future of Pakistan were discussed in a frank and candid manner.

8. Major General PJS Sandhu (retd), Director Gyan Chakra thanked Mr RK Kaushik, IAS for such an interesting and illuminating talk and felicitated him with a Gyan Chakra Memento.

14 Jun 2019 (Friday)

Talk

Topic China's Approach 15 Boundary Dispute under the International Law
Speaker Maj Gen PJS Sandhu (retd), Director Gyan Chakra". Talk will be chaired by Lt Gen PM Bali, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Staff, HQ Western Command.
Gyan Chakra Lecture hall

General

1. A talk on the subject “China’s Approach to Boundary Disputes in Relation to International Law” was delivered by Maj Gen PJS Sandhu (Retd) Director Gyan Chakra on Friday, 14 June 2019 at Gyan Chakra Lecture hall. It was attended by approximately 25 serving officers and 30 veterans. Lieutenant General PM Bali, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Staff, HQ Western Command was in the Chair.

Salient Points

2. Major General PJS Sandhu (Retd) introduced the topic by stating that since emergence of China as communist state on 01 Oct 1949, it has maintained that its borders were never formally delineated. Though, China has settled its disputes with 12 countries out of 14 leaving India and Bhutan, China has not been able to settle any of it’s maritime boundary dispute in South China Sea and East China Sea. He then explained under mentioned important terms generally used under International law for settlement of boundary disputes between states:-

  • Thalweg Principle. It implies drawing the border along the middle stretches of water dividing the two countries.
  • The Juridical Status of the Area in Disputes. It refers to the ‘Sovereignty’ or ‘Suzerainty’ (the right of one country to rule over another country or a territory which has its own ruler by is not fully independent) over another country or territory.
  • The Watershed Principal. International law has accepted the ‘Watershed Principal’ which implies the line separating two contiguous drainage areas.
  • Significance of Maps in Relation to Boundary Disputes. Maps are significant as claims and evidence for claims (both official and unofficial).
  • Effective Occupation. Occupation as an act of acquiring sovereignty is not possible with regard to the territory of another state, even if it is entirely outside the international community.
  • Prescription. Contrary to occupation, acquisitive Prescription concerns acquiring territory which was subject to the sovereignty of another state.
  • Protest. In challenging the encroachments by a neighbor, ‘Protest’ interrupts the adverse claim and stops the running of the prescriptive time.
  • Acquiescence. To be regarded as acquiescing the silent state must be fully aware of the claim concerned and be free from the fear of coercion by the claimant state.
  • Estoppal. It implies that a state may be barred from alleging or denying a fact because of its own previous actions by which the contrary has been admitted, implied or determined.
  • The Crucial Date. It implies that as soon as a state has registered a protest against the actions of another state all subsequent evidence in support of the claim must be set aside.

3. China’s Maritime border disputes with its neighbours were then explained by the speaker stating that initially China claimed 90 % of South China Sea depicting U shaped eleven- dash line of 1947 map wherein two dashes in Gulf of Tonkin were removed later. Subsequently, in 2013, China added a dash to other end of line extending it into East China Sea. This brought China into confrontation with other states of region and USA & its allies, who re-assert their rights of over flights, free passage and navigation through international waters.

4. Historical facts of China’s dispute with Japan over Diaoyu/ Senkaku islands in the East China Sea were brought out by the Speaker, wherein inference of international law by Japan of ‘Prescription and ‘Acquiescence’ and China’s of ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘right to raise issue on suitable occasion’ were brought out.

5. An overview of China’s Land Border Disputes and Settlement were given with help of a table given as under. It is observed that while settling boundary disputes with its neighbors, China made substantial concessions to the opponent. In some cases, it gave 100 percent of the disputed territory to the other party; e.g. Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Most of the disputes were settled in a time, when China was in position of strength.


6. Maj Gen PJS Sandhu (retd) after giving details of China – Bhutan border dispute including recent Doklam Dispute, he highlighted the ‘Sino- Indian Boundary Dispute' through a map showing Chinese alignment of Sino – Indian border.

7. He explained various facets of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute with the help of few maps, including various lines which have been claimed by both sides in the Western Sector. China have been changing her claim lines over a period of time. They did not raise any objection to the boundary claimed by India till 1956 and then changed their claim line in 1960. Further, in 1962 War it went even beyond that claim line and did not withdraw from the territories that it had captured during the War in the Western Sector. Thereafter, he covered the Sino-Indian boundary dispute under the following principles of International Law related to boundaries:-

  • Status of Tibet. It was mentioned that over the centuries Tibet came to be regarded under suzerainty of China whereas China always asserted her claim of sovereignty over Tibet. It is also a fact that between 1912 to 1950 Tibet enjoyed de-facto independence without obtaining an explicit recognition and China neither exercised sovereignty nor suzerainty during this period.
  • Watershed Principle. It was stated that China rejects Watershed Principle in Eastern Sector and tends to use same argument to invalidate the Indian claim in the Western Sector, which conforms to Chinese policy of ‘Political Expediency.
  • Effective Occupation. He brought out that in Eastern Sector wherein McMohan Line is fairly clear, in Ladakh the existing treaties confirming the traditional boundaries cannot be seriously disputed. At the Shimla Conference, China included evidence of ‘Effective Occupation’ in her statement on the limits of Tibet to support her claim.
  • Prescription. Audiences were informed that so far neither India, nor China seem to have used the argument of ‘Prescription’ in the border dispute.
  • Protest, Acquiescence and Estoppal. Major General PJS Sandhu (retd) stated that in Chinese view, a sovereign state has the right to reserve its position and raise the issue pertaining to national frontiers on ‘suitable occasion’. Though, they have invoked various principles while settling disputes with other countries.
Conclusion

8. Speaker concluded his talk by stating that China does not always conform to the principles of International Law for solving border disputes. It applies them selectively. It also believes that a sovereign state has the right to reserve its position and state the objections at a suitable time.

9. Talk was followed by a very healthy interactive session. In the end, Lieutenant General PM Bali, AVSM, VSM, Chief Of Staff, HQ Western Command thanked the Speaker for such an enlightening research on the issue. Lieutenant General Bali talking from his personal experience made a lot of value addition to the subject. He explained the Doklam stand off in some detail giving insights into the Chinese behavior and thinking as also the issues involved in the dispute.