China’s People Liberation Army personnel are carrying out a survey of the villages and border posts in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, reports said on Wednesday.
According to an IANS report, around four dozen PLA soldiers arrived in Kel, Jura and Leepa sectors of PaK a month ago. They divided themselves into groups of five or six each, and visited a number of villages in the area.
The report further claimed that Pakistan Army personnel and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers were accompanying the PLA soldiers.
A senior government officer told the news agency that the activities of Chinese troops in PaK indicate their intention to build model villages in the region, which can be used both by civilians and military.
China is making huge investments in PaK as Beijing’s ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor traverses through this region. Earlier, too, reports had suggested the presence of PLA personnel in PaK.
Meanwhile, India has bolstered its overall military preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following the eastern Ladakh standoff last year.
The US Department of Defence in its recent report had said China built a large 100-home civilian village inside territory claimed by India between its Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector of the LAC.
In the report on military and security developments involving China, the US department said China had continued taking “incremental and tactical” actions to press its claims at the LAC despite its ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues with India to reduce border tensions.
However, sources in India’s security establishment sought to downplay the report, saying the villages were being built in a territory controlled by the Chinese military for nearly six decades.