Amid Ladakh stand-off, China helping Pakistan set up surface-to-air missile system in PoK, says report

china pakistan, china pakistan economic corridor, china pakistan news, china pakistan relations, china pakistan border, china pakistan india, ladakh stand off, ladakh stand off latest, ladakh stand off update, pok full formPakistan’s deep ties with China is no secret, but greater economic and military cooperation in PoK and Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan also point to Beijing’s vested interest there. (Reuters image)

China is helping Pakistan set up a new missile system in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) amid the Ladakh standoff. Beijing is also assisting Islamabad in upgrading military infrastructure even as both People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Pakistan Army have been attempting “better integration”, Indian Express reported quoting Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).

The Indian security establishment has been maintaining strict vigil. Late in September, R&AW provided inputs that PLA and Pakistan Army was working on construction before the installation of a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system near Lasadanna Dhok in PoK. The inputs said that 130 Pakistan Army Personnel and 25-40 civilians were involved in the construction process. The control room for the SAM system would be located at PoK’s Bagh district where the Pakistani Army’s brigade headquarters is situated. Ten PLA personnel, including three officers ranks, will be deployed in the control room. Similar construction are also going on at Chinari in Jhelum district, and Chakothi in the Hattian Bala district of PoK, as IE reported quoting R&AW sources.

Pakistan and China share a so-called “all-weather friendship”. Beijing and Islamabad’s increasing military cooperation in PoK and Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan also signifies China’s economic and commercial interests in those localities. Pivotal Chinese projects such as the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Belt, and Road Initiative (BRI) are located there.

Pakistan’s deep ties with China is no secret, but greater economic and military cooperation in PoK and Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan also point to Beijing’s vested interest there. Because these areas are key to the CPEC and BRI, projects at the heart of Chinese expansionism.

Back in June this year, a senior Pakistan Army Officer was present at the PLA headquarters in Beijing for “better integration” of the militaries of the two countries. Earlier on February 5 this year, a Chinese warship was spotted by the Indian Coast Guard in Pakistan waters. Indian Cost Guard sighted the frigate Jiangwei-Il not very far from Porbandar, around 11 nautical miles inside Pakistani waters, the IE report says.

In January this year, Navies of China and Pakistan carried out a bilateral exercise. Beijing is also helping Islamabad in the acquisition of naval assets. Pakistan is still waiting to receive eight Yuan class submarines and four Type 054A frigates.

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