South Asia and Beyond

India’s Infra Thrust To Ladakh: Countering China & Pakistan

India’s infra thrust to Ladakh to counter the China, and Pakistan two-front threat. India’s military is in the fourth winter of its advanced forward deployment against China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. China’s renewed aggression in 2020 led to the deadly Galwan clashes in June of that year, with the consequent military buildup and standoff. Both sides continue to engage at the military, diplomatic, and political levels. But the shattering of trust, protocols, and agreements means New Delhi is on perpetual guard in the present while ramping up its preparedness for the future.

StratNews Global’s team of Amitabh P. Revi, Rohit Pandita, and Karan Marwaha travels along alpine altitudes through the frozen desert landscape in eastern Ladakh and Siachen to bring you this series: The Himalayan Frontier on India’s infra thrust to Ladakh. These ground reports document the sustained infrastructure push in road connectivity and air bridges, record substantial progress in alternate axes that are in play and are being planned, and capture on camera how the Indian Army, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and the Indian Air Force’s women, men and machines are honing their all-weather readiness during another winter, against the two-front threat from China and Pakistan.

In this episode, we travel from Manali, through the Atal Tunnel under the Rohtang Pass and drive on the Darcha-Padam-Nimmu (NPD) road to Leh. This is a crucial third axis to Leh that will ensure all-weather connectivity for India’s military and civilians, even when up to fifteen-foot high snow walls usually close passes as high as 17,000+ feet for months in the winter. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is the nodal agency for India’s infra thrust to Ladakh and we travel with their personnel to understand their engineering achievements through bone-chilling alpine altitudes, how they drill through mountain ranges, lay bridges across fast-moving rivers and the challenges at these heights, temperatures and topographies.

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Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.