In India the Special Frontier Force or the Establishment 22 is a well known force. It mainly comprises Tibetan refugees living in India. Its primary goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War
Reports say China’s military has stepped up efforts to recruit more Tibetans, holding ‘special’ recruitment drives across the Tibet Autonomous Region since the beginning of the year.
A report in Hindustan Times quoting sources said that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officials have criss-crossed the Tibet Autonomous Region to hold recruitment drives and to pick up Tibetan recruits who were already at PLA camps.
It added that the People’s Liberation Army intends to create a Special Tibetan Army Unit, the people said, citing intelligence reports and communications intercepts from three separate intelligence agencies.
According to an intelligence report, PLA officials from Lhasa visited Rudok town in Ngari Prefecture in the far west of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in February to recruit Tibetans as soldiers.
“These new recruitment drives are being held at a time when there are reports that mainstream Chinese troops from lower altitudes faced problems during their deployment in Tibet. We have intercepts showing their troops suffered from health problems such as severe mountain sickness and high-altitude pulmonary oedema,” an official reportedly said.
“It is also meant to send a message to India and to Tibetans in India,” the official added.
The standoff between India and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh is more than a year old now. After eleven rounds of military discussions, the issue is yet to be resolved as the Chinese are reluctant to return to the troop locations before the start of standoff.
Source: Hindustan Times