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After LAC tension, now China helps Pak boost military infra along LoC

By Sumir Kaul
May 29, 2024 17:15 IST
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Pakistan's key ally China has been actively bolstering the defence capabilities of the Pakistani army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir over the past three years which includes the construction of steelhead bunkers and the provision of Unmanned Aerial and Combat Aerial Vehicles, officials said on Wednesday.

IMAGE: A vehicle passes the Abbottabad Tunnel No 2, which is part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor along Hazara Motorway in Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan October 15, 2023. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Chinese assistance also extends to installing highly encrypted communication towers and laying underground fibre cables along the LoC.


Moreover, advanced radar systems of Chinese origin, such as the 'JY' and 'HGR' series, have been deployed to enhance medium and low altitude target detection capabilities, providing crucial intelligence support for army and air defence units, they said.

Additionally, the presence of the SH-15, a 155 mm truck-mounted howitzer gun manufactured by a Chinese firm, has been noticed at various locations along the LoC.

This move is seen as part of efforts to strengthen China's ties with Pakistan and safeguard Chinese investments in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, particularly related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Though the presence of senior PLA officials at forward posts, as was detected in 2014, was not found, some intercepts suggested that Chinese troops and engineers were setting up infrastructure along the LoC, including building underground bunkers, officials said.

Chinese experts were engaged in tunnel construction in the Leepa Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, signalling preparations for an all-weather road to connect with the Karakoram highway, they said.

This strategic move is linked to Beijing's ambitious 46-billion-dollar CPEC project, aiming to establish a direct route between Gwadar Port in Pakistan and Xinjiang province in China through the Karakoram highway, an area under the illegal occupation of China.

In 2007, a Chinese telecom company had taken over a Pakistani telecom company and formed China Mobile Pakistan -- a 100 percent owned subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Corporation.

In August 2022, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, while renewing the mobile licence of CMPak (Zong) for PoK, permitted expansion of Next Generation Mobile Services in the region.

While the Indian Army has maintained silence on the matter, intelligence agencies are reportedly being kept informed of the developments.

The continued presence of Chinese military personnel in the region has raised concerns, with India voicing objections to Chinese activities in Gilgit and Baltistan areas in the past.

As tensions persist, India remains vigilant and prepared to thwart any potential threats emanating from across the border, officials said.

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Sumir Kaul in Kupwara
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