Dailybhaskar | Last Modified - Jun 05, 2012, 03:09 PM IST
New Delhi: In a dreaded move which seems to be detrimental for India so much so that it can lose influence to neighbouring Afghanistan, China is opening its narrow border with Afghanistan through Wakhan Corridor.
According to a report published in The Telegraph, former Army Chief Gen VK Singh has hinted that China is opening a tunnel under Pamir ranges of Wakhan Corridor that skirts the northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir. To India's horror, this is the territory that India claims but is under Pakistani occupation. "But for PoK, India would have had direct access to Afghanistan through the Wakhan Corridor," report quoted him saying.
Gen Singh was clear about his reasons for the Chinese connection with Afghanistan since he, according to the report, is writing his PhD thesis on “Fundamentalism in Afghanistan and the Geo Strategic Significance of the Wakhan Corridor”. Going by the report, during the course of his research, Gen Singh has found evidence of military engineering activity on the Chinese side of the border.
Afghanistan and China do not have a border crossing despite they both being the neighbouring countries. “This connectivity would be physical. And it is interested in the Wakhan Corridor through which it would facilitate the exploitation of natural resources in Afghanistan,” he said.
Describing it as an 'outflanking move', General Singh said that China aims at increasing connectivity with Afghanistan, where India already has a considerable presence with it (Afghanistan). "The increased Chinese influence over Afghanistan will risk India losing its hold over the neighbouring country," report claimed.
India and China have a long history of tension, dating back to a 1962 border war.
What is the Wakhan Corridor?
Wakhan Corridor is commonly used as a synonym for Wakhan, an area of far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link or "corridor" between Afghanistan and China. The Corridor is a long and slender panhandle or salient, roughly 140 miles (220 km) long and between 10 and 40 miles (16 and 64 km) wide.It separates Tajikistan in the north from Pakistan in the south.
The corridor was a political creation of the Great Game. On the corridor's north side, agreements between Britain and Russia in 1873 and between Britain and Afghanistan in 1893 effectively split the historic area of Wakhan by making the Panj and Pamir Rivers the border between Afghanistan and the Russian Empire.
On its south side, the Durand Line agreement of 1893 marked the boundary between British India and Afghanistan. This left a narrow strip of land as a buffer between the two empires, which became known as the Wakhan Corridor in the 20th century. The corridor has 12,000 inhabitants.
The term Wakhan Corridor is also used in a narrower sense to refer to the route along the Panj River and the Wakhan River to China, and the northern part of the Wakhan is then referred to as the Afghan Pamir. (Source: Wikipedia)