The Pakistani army and Chinese troops are conducting joint patrol in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Beijing is helping set up multiple surface-to-air missile launch sites and a missile defence system in the region, The Telegraph newspaper quoting sources in the security establishment has reported.
According to the report, increased Chinese air activities have also been observed in PaK coinciding with the military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
“The latest intelligence report suggests that China is helping Pakistan set up sites for surface-to-air missiles in PaK, and that the two armies are holding joint patrols,” an Intelligence Bureau official attached to the Union home ministry said.
“We have been witnessing closer military and economic cooperation between the two countries amid the border standoff between India and China since May.”
The Indian Air Force chief, Air Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, had on Monday told a news conference that there was nothing to suggest a “collusive threat” but highlighted how the Chinese and Pakistani armies were carrying out joint exercises.
“We are aware they are cooperating closely. There is a significant threat but so far there is no such indication that they are colluding for a two-front war,” Mr. Bhadauria had said.
Among the military infrastructure projects going on at several PoK locations with China’s help, “construction for the installation of a surface-to-air missile defence system is being carried out at Pauli Pir near Lasadanna Dhok of PaK”, a security official was quoted as saying by the Kolkata based newspaper.
He said the intelligence report had also spoken of joint reconnaissance exercises between Chinese and Pakistani troops in forward PaK locations such as Deolian and Jura.
“We have noticed increased Chinese air activities in PaK, with Chinese refuelling aircraft having landed at Skardu in PoK. The Skardu airbase is about 100km from the Leh airbase on the Indian side,” the security official said.
“In the past, Pakistan had conducted joint air exercises with China at the Skardu airbase.”