China is strengthening military support to Pakistan along with the LoC in Kashmir

Kupwara: Pakistan’s key ally, China, has been actively strengthening the Pakistani military’s defense capabilities along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir over the past three years, including the construction of steel bunkers and the provision of unmanned aerial and combat aircraft. Officials said this on Wednesday. Chinese assistance also extends to installing highly encrypted communications towers and laying underground fiber optic cables along the LoC.

In addition, advanced radar systems of Chinese origin, such as the ‘JY’ and ‘HGR’ series, have been deployed to improve the detection capabilities of medium- and low-altitude targets, providing crucial intelligence support to military and air defense units, they said.

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

The move is seen as part of efforts to strengthen China’s ties with Pakistan and secure Chinese investments in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, especially in connection with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

While the presence of senior PLA officials at forward posts, as discovered 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 involved in the construction of tunnels in the Leepa Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), marking preparations for an all-weather road that would connect to the Karakoram highway, they said .

This strategic move is linked to Beijing’s ambitious $46 billion CPEC project, which aims to establish a direct route between Gwadar Port in Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang Province via the Karakoram highway, an area under China’s illegal occupation.

In 2007, a Chinese telecom company had acquired a Pakistani telecom company and formed China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak) – a 100 percent subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Corporation.

In August 2022, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), while renewing CMPak’s (Zong) mobile license for PoK, authorized the expansion of Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) in the region.

While the Indian Army remains silent on the matter, intelligence agencies are reportedly being kept abreast of the developments.

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

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

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