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Infiltration

 

Editorial. Cecil Victor. XXVIII. VII. XV 

 

 

DEAD DRONE: MESSENGER OF


 

A MANDARIN EMPIRE?



Cecil Victor-fnbworld By Cecil Victor

 

 

The Pakistan Army claimed that it shot down an Indian spy platform and showed pictures of an unmanned aerial vehicle, a drone, that it brought down in the Bhimbar district of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The area is close to where Pakistan has been consistently violating the ceasefire along the International Border and the Line of Control with gunfire and infiltration attempts. It is the jugular vein of India’s connectivity to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Phantom Drone-fnbworld

 

India denied that any of its drones had been shot down. China claimed that the platform known as “Phantom 3” was built in a Chinese factory. Pakistan which did not even blush at the massive slap in the face it received at Kargil in 1999 (the anniversary of which we are currently celebrating) was not expected to show some chagrin at having shot down a rotorcraft belonging to an “all-weather” friend whose filial sentiments were “as deep as the oceans and as high as Mount Everest”  or some such superlative. But neither of them explained who was operating the drone.


                     

Published on May 3, 2015

(Above): The new DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional quadcopters out for some test flights! Eric Cheng of DJI joins us to discuss how these new quads differ from previous models in terms of their flight capability and cameras, bringing in features previously introduced in the Inspire.

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It is left to conjecture (and deniability) that the modern-day avatar of Chanakya’s spyring system was the forerunner of a creeping Chinese empire. If it was not an activity sponsored by the premier Pakistani dirty tricks department, the Pakistan Army Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), then it is necessary to know who actually was operating that short-range, low altitude rotorcraft so close to a strategic landscape that has long been used by Pakistan (along with the Hajipir Pass salient just north of it) to push in infiltrators to create confusion and facilitate terrorist strikes at Indian targets


Since the drone was actually manufactured in China (and admittedly so) it is easy to surmise that it must be a Chinaman playing around with this exotic toy in a remote and generally unfriendly place like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The camera payload of this four rotary engined helicopter (quadcopter) would make Stephen Spielberg proud of being able to get a vantage view of the goings on below without the need for the usual gantries and cranes. The focus of the camera remains constant irrespective of the way the platform pitches or yaws caused by weather conditions because of the multi-axis gimbal.  The Phantom 3 is the latest in a series. It was released in the market in April this year and has already gained notoriety by crashlanding on the White House lawns in the US.


Kargil war-fnbworld

 

How did it get to Bhimber? If the Pakistan Army says it shot the spy drone it can be assumed that it would not have done it if it had known that someone with such fast communication capabilities with China was handling the quadcopter. That it was “out of the loop” in such a sensitive place as the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir is significant.


For long there have been reports suggesting that there are as many as 9000 Chinese military personnel operating under the guise of “engineers and technicians” on projects connected with the Sino-Pak economic corridor connecting the Chinese province of Xianjiang with the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Balochistan coast. There were also reports that Pakistan was amenable to hand over a large chunk of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on a 50-year lease to China to facilitate the construction of the economic corridor. Given also that recently China has suggested that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the masterminds of the terror strike on Mumbai on 26/11/2008, there is a clear confluence of intent and purpose between Beijing and Islamabad even where it involved the use of terrorism for national objectives. Its called Fourth Generation Warfare where the distinction between state-sponsored terrorism, non-state actors and indoctrinated civilians is as blurred as it is now in the Iraq-Syria salient. China has long been known to encourage insurgencies in the North-east of India. It has now shifted attention to India’s North-west as well.


The Chinese engineers in PoK are engaged in creating dual-use infrastructure that will facilitate both commerce and military deployment. The recent revelation that it is building the world’s largest seaplane (an aircraft capable of taking off and landing on water) is intended to ensure that Chinese troops can be deployed in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean in sufficient numbers and more efficiently than aircraft or ships to enforce Chinese policy.


The dead drone shows that the Chinese are taking over military operations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, firstly to ensure the safety of its own personnel who are not quite liked by the local population and had several times resorted to strikes and refusal to work on road projects. Secondly, China is setting up a new area of pinpricking India and keep it tied down as is seen in the spate of crossborder and trans-LoC attacks on India by proxy warriors of the Islamist kind. The dead drone in Bhimbar was intended to facilitate such activities with independent sources of situational awareness.

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