ISLAMABAD: The head of the media wing of the Pakistani army said this week no additional troops had been deployed on the line of control in Gilgit-Baltistan and there were no Chinese soldiers present in Pakistan.
Pakistan has raised concerns about rising tensions with India after a June 15 clash between India and China in the Ladakh region in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, in particular about the possibility Pakistan could get dragged into the conflict.
The three nuclear-armed neighbors all have historic disputes over high-altitude border demarcation in the Himalayas.
For years, confrontation between India and Pakistan has been seen as the most dangerous of the disputes but the violence between Indian and Chinese forces has renewed alarm about theirs too.
“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,” Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations, said.
“No such movement or induction of additional forces has taken place,” he added. “We also vehemently deny presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan.”
Defense experts said in the absence of a defense pact with China, the Chinese military could not be deployed in Pakistan.
“Pakistan did not have any defense pact with China as we did not need it and without any such pact no country can physically bring their military in any part of another sovereign country,” defense analyst retired Air Vice Marshal Shahzad Chaudhary told Arab News.
“Chinese cooperation with Pakistan in the domain of defense is well known and serves as an element of stability in the region,” Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies, said, adding that both countries routinely discussed the geo-political environment of the region.
“Pakistan does not need China to defend it with its physical presence and neither does China need our territory to increase its influence in the region,” Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director of the Center for International Strategic Studies, said.