China is believed to be helping Pakistan build its defence infrastructure along the Line of Control. Beijing has taken efforts to strengthen its position as an all-weather friend of Pakistan in recent years – consequently ensuring the safety of Chinese enclaves on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The revelations came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the “dark clouds of coercion and confrontation casting their shadow in the Indo Pacific” during his US State Visit. Citing terrorism as a growing concern, Modi had also also asserted that there could be “no ifs or buts” in dealing with the issue.
According to a PTI report quoting officials, support is being given in the form of unmanned aerial and combat aerial vehicles, communication towers, and underground cables.
China has also supplied Pakistan with SH-15 truck-mounted howitzer guns and is believed to be setting up infrastructure along the LoC, including building underground bunkers.
Growing Chinese enclaves are believed to have been set up in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on the pretext of securing the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor road and hydel projects built in the occupied territory.
Officials said that the recently developed SH-15 – a 155 mm truck-mounted howitzer gun known as a ‘shoot and scoot’ artillery weapon – has been spotted at some places along the LoC after it was displayed during Pakistan Day last year.
Pakistan had reportedly signed a contract with Chinese firm North Industries Group Corporation Limited (Norinco) for the supply of 236 SH-15s and, according to London-based Janes Defence magazine, the first batch was delivered in January 2022.
Some intercepts suggested that Chinese troops and engineers were setting up infrastructure along the LoC, including building underground bunkers. The report quoted sources to add that the Army has been constantly monitoring the situation and updating the intelligence agencies. No official statement has been issued thus far.
India has strongly objected to the presence of the Chinese in Gilgit and Baltistan regions in the past, and officials said the Army was completely prepared to frustrate any moves from across the border. The two countries have been observing a ceasefire since February 2021.