JUL 4, 2018: Chinese and Pakistani frontier defense forces conducted joint patrol at a mountainous region in Khunjerab in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last week.
They were respectively assigned to a frontier defense company in Khunjerab –some 900km northeast of capital Islamabad at Pak-China border– under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command (MC) and the border police of the Pakistani Khunjerab Security Force (KSF), a leading China’s defense journal ‘China Military’ reported on Wednesday.
The Chinese and Pakistan frontier defense forces discussed China-Pakistan border situation during the joint border patrol.
The troops from both Chinese and Pakistani frontier defense forces saluted each other prior to the patrol and also engaged in a friendly competition of arm wrestling during the short break.
This is the second such joint border patrol by the two allies after having launched their joint multi-billion dollar China Pakistani Economic Corridor linking Xinjiang with Gwadar in Balochistan’s Arabian Sea coastline.
CPEC launched in April 2015, is the flagship project and the southern (sixth) corridor of China’s infrastructure program in its neighboring nations as part of its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Two years back in July 2016, a frontier defense regiment of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Pakistan’s border police force carried out their first joint patrol along their shared border, amid reports of 114 Uyghurs from Xinjiang joining the Islamic State, The Diplomat reported.
China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region borders Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. The joint patrols could be seen as a measure to reduce movement of militants across the region, observers say.
The East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a separatist group which had been operating in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is said to have operated training camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas in the past, were eliminated by Pakistan military in massive air and ground operations.
Both allies who call each other ‘iron brothers’ have common interest in eliminating extremism and terrorism in their neighborhood as they embark on the game-changing regional geoeconomic joint venture with Pakistan as ground zero.