China and Pakistan are considered ‘all-weather friends’ and both these nuclear-armed nations are the biggest neighbours of arch-foe – India. At a time of heightened tensions, are China and Pakistan working closely to check-mate India?
Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a tele-conversation with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and discussed a wide range of matters including the regional tensions with India, the Kashmir issue, Afghanistan, CPEC and COVID-19, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Wang said China and Pakistan should collaborate to tackle hurdles and defend common interests and regional peace and stability. Along with other 52 nations, Pakistan backed China’s national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights, and China profoundly values that. Such action shows international society’s support for international justice and international norms, Wang added.
Wang called for the two nations must fasten projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and increase collaboration in health and medical care, training the workforce, poverty alleviation and agriculture to help with the economic recovery in Pakistan.
As for the terrorist attack in Karachi, Wang said China resolutely supports Pakistan to tackle terrorism and hopes that Islamabad will provide more protection for Chinese organisations and nationals working in the country.
Qureshi echoed Wang over the dynamics of international concerns, saying that Pakistan is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China to maintain regional stability. Qureshi also highlighted the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Qureshi also said Hong Kong (affair) is China’s internal affairs, and Pakistan firmly opposes any foreign interference in China’s domestic issues, and Pakistan stands firmly with China on issues concerning China’s core interests.
Pakistan, China Collaborating Against India?
Earlier, as ET reported, while India and China are engaged in an intense border standoff, Indian media quoting their sources claim that Pakistan has started moving its soldiers along the Gilgit-Baltistan area to open another possible front against India.
IndiaToday, quoting its sources writes – Pakistan has moved almost 20,000 additional troops in the northern Ladakh region to match Chinese deployments.
The report further says that Pakistan is looking at an opportunity to open a two-front attack on India. It also claims that Pakistan’s ISI and Army has started deploying battle-hardened terrorists and even planning BAT operations against Indian Army soldiers.
The report also claims that Islamabad could also be organising an “internal sabotage” with the nearly 100 Pakistani-backed militants inside Jammu and Kashmir. It also indicated that Pakistan could incite attacks against Indian army personnel deployed in J&K.
Indian Army Chief, General M.M. Naravane recently admitted that there is a threat of possible collusion between China and Pakistan against India which could lead to a two-front war.
Pakistan Army dismissed Indian media reports that it had deployed additional forces in Pakistan-administered Kashmir amid India’s standoff with China or permitted Beijing to use a key airbase in the region.
The official Twitter handle of the Inter-services Public Relations wing tweeted, “News circulating in Indian electronic and social media claiming additional deployment of Pakistan Army troops along #LOC in GB and alleged use of Skardu Airbase by #China is false, irresponsible and far from truth.” The ISPR Twitter handle added, “No such movement or induction of additional forces has taken place. We also vehemently deny presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan.”
There were reports that Pakistan had permitted the Chinese Air Force to deploy fighter aircraft to its bases at Skardu and Gilgit. Both bases would help Chinese fighter jets reach Ladakh faster in the event of war than is possible from the PLAAF’s existing airbases in Tibet.