Chinese flags in the Valley: Why this agenda is a non-starter?
While Pakistan flags have been a regular feature in many parts of the Valley, finding Chinese flags is something new. Does this signal a new form of protest or is it just another gimmick?
Intelligence Bureau officials do not read much into it. They say that it is a way of telling India that Pakistan's all weather friend, China would back them in their fight for Kashmir. It is more of an irritant than an actual worry, the official says.
There is no real confirmation of any Chinese involvement. It is basically an invitation by the separatists to China to help them. In fact, on some of the flags there is a line which asks China for help. However, the Chinese are unlikely to interfere in this issue, officials also maintain.
On the other hand, separatists feel that there is a Chinese connection to the Kashmir issue. The occupation of Aksai Chin by the Chinese which was once part of Jammu and Kashmir is one such connection that the separatists are trying to draw.
They would also quote that the Chinese and the Pakistanis want Kashmir to be an international issue and in this regard they hope that China may interfere.
The separatists hope that China would play the role of a mediator. India will, however, never accept this and the separatists' dream will not be fulfilled, Indian officials also say.
Officials also say that while China is unlikely to interfere and the decision to wave Chinese flags must be Pakistan's idea. Pakistan feels that by waving Chinese flags in the Valley, there is a chance of India getting spooked.
Separatists may have bought this argument, but India says that this new agenda is a non-starter.
Officials, however, added that the chance of separatists trying to please the Chinese in return for funds is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. They would need money to sustain this struggle and would be hoping that the Chinese may fund them.
"Our eyes and ears are open to this and we will not let any Chinese funding into Kashmir," intelligence bureau officials also say.