According to a US intelligence report, China had a much better understanding of Indian troop positions and movements ahead of the June 15 Galwan Valley clash in Ladakh, thanks to Pakistan.
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“If the Chinese are bringing Pakistan more ‘behind the curtain,’ in terms of intelligence and military cooperation, it will be tailored to their common interests like confronting India over territorial disputes,” said Vikram Singh, a former top official at the Pentagon for South and Southeast Asian affairs, now a senior adviser at the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Asia Center.
The extent of intelligence cooperation between the ‘iron bothers’ is still unknown but Pakistan has been cautious about sharing its intelligence in the past. However, Tara Kartha, former director of the National Security Council Secretariat stated that it is now a possibility that Beijing has been able to overcome these reservations, as it gains a steady entrance into the Pakistani establishment at the highest levels, as well as on the ground.
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“This Pakistan-China intelligence cooperation poses a challenge for India because it marks an alarming accretion in a relationship in which Pakistan is beginning to resemble nothing more than a colony,” she added.
Kartha further explained that the evidence of intelligence sharing is visible through examples and the latest one being where four members of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), who attacked the Karachi Stock Exchange where China has 40 percent stake, were killed within eight minutes in an operation by the Sindh Rangers.
“Clearly, security forces were literally waiting for the insurgents to show up, indicating advance intelligence of no small degree,” asserted Kartha. “Clearly, security forces were literally waiting for the insurgents to show up, indicating advance intelligence of no small degree,” she wrote.
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“Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) seems to have thrown all its resources into protecting Chinese interests, with sources indicating that Chinese ambassador himself has sometimes sat in on high-level meetings of security agencies on the issue” she added.
There are suspicions of Pakistani having intel operations into India for decades, particularly on the movement of troops that were acquired using low-level assets. “Sources also point to increased Pakistani intel activity during the Galwan stand-off, indicating that the human intelligence capability is being outsourced to Islamabad,” Kartha claimed.
Pakistan has already received criticism for signing the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through which China is expected to invest $62 billion in the project.
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“I think at a time of crisis like COVID when the world is reeling from the economic consequences of having shut parts of the economy, it is really incumbent on China to take steps to alleviate the burden this predatory, unsustainable and unfair lending is going to cause to Pakistan,” said Alice Wells, US State Department’s top official. Experts now claim that this intelligence-sharing pact could be one way to pay the bills.
Analysts worry about this intel sharing between India’s two adversaries. While China has superior technical intelligence capability, Pakistan possesses human intelligence capability.
To counter this challenge, the Indian Army has banned 89 social media applications. “We are being harmed. It has now been confirmed that soldiers and officers within the Indian Army are being profiled by the adversaries.
It is also confirmed that devices like mobile phones and computers have been controlled by them. Social media profiles have been used to lure some of our people for honey-trapping. Spying is actively underway through social media,” senior officers of the Indian Army revealed.