Doklam: To appease China, India will not let down Bhutan
China has said that a resolution to the Doklam standoff would be issued once Indian forces withdraw. This is however an option that India is not willing to take. India cannot be seen to abandon its allies and a withdrawal would mean stabbing Bhutan in the back.
It is a complex situation and India at best would withdraw troops on the pre-condition that it is replaced by the forces from Bhutan, a highly placed source informed OneIndia.
For Bhutan, India guarantees its security through the 2007 Friendship Treaty. Bhutan has allowed access to Indians on its territory. In fact Bhutan looks up to India in the absence of any formal diplomatic ties with China.
While the negotiating the road to peace, India would have to take into consideration a lot of factors which have to ensure friendly tied with China and also not sidelining Bhutan.
Former Research and Analysis Wing officer, Amar Bhushan says that India cannot forget about Bhutan in this crisis. India is the protector and not taking into account the interests of Bhutan may lead to them opening them up to the Chinese.
Bhushan says that the best solution would be to tell China that India is ready to withdraw troops on the condition that it would be replaced by the forces from Bhutan. Although Bhutan does not have a strong military, it still be would be significant step in suggesting the above.
Bhushan further says that both India and China would have be convinced that there is no point in getting bogged over this small bit of area. The matters between India and China are unlikely to escalate any further. Once the winter sets in the tensions would be resolved automatically says Bhushan. During this period the Chinese cannot remain in the area, the former R&AW officer also points out.
Abhijnan Rej, a Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation writes in the Hindustan Times that whatever be the interpretation, one of the key Chinese objectives in initiating the Doklam standoff seems to be testing India's resolve to stand by Bhutan. It should be an Indian imperative to not fold in this trilateral poker, for doing so has two far-reaching consequences.