NEW DELHI: As the presence of Chinese soldiers on Pakistani soil continues to grow, Islamabad is taking Beijing’s help to rapidly ramp up its military infrastructure along its border with India along Rajasthan. Infrastructure works done for the Pakistani Army by the Chinese include the upgrade of a forward airbase, more than 350 stone bunkers, border outposts and road network.
Zee Media has visuals that suggest at least 350 stone bunkers have already been built on the sly. The construction sites have been camouflaged to reduce their visibility. The construction activity has also not been formally conveyed to the Indian side by the Pakistani security forces at their regular flag meetings.
The expansion of the road network, along with bunkers and canals in the border areas underscores Pakistan’s paranoia over preventing a crushing conventional rout at the hands of Indian forces in the event of war.
Pakistan’s Khairpur air force base has seen an uptick in the presence of Chinese troops over the past few months. The upgrade and expansion works at Khairpur, combined with the three other airstrips that are being built close to the India border.
Pakistan has said the airstrips and other infrastructure are meant to make it easier for the Chinese to transport the oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. The rationale provided says shipping the resources through Karachi is inconvenient due to congestion and distance.
The Khairpur air force base is just 25 km from the border with India.
China’s infrastructure benevolence towards Pakistan in the region comes over speculation that Chinese companies have discovered significant oil deposits along the border in the Sindh Province.
Part of the justification for the rising presence of Chinese security personnel on Pakistani soil has centred around the threats to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Chinese citizens working on the projects. A number of attacks have been targeted at Chinese workers.