Islamabad- The Pakistan Army on Thursday rejected as “false and irresponsible” media reports that it has moved around 20,000 additional soldiers along the LoC in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (PcK) and Gilgit-Baltistan to match the Chinese deployments on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The military’s media wing in a statement on Twitter “vehemently” denied the presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan and refuted reports that the Skardu Airbase in PcK was being used by China.
News claiming additional deployment of the Pakistan Army troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gilgit-Baltistan and alleged use of Skardu Airbase by China is “false, irresponsible and far from truth, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said.
No such movement or induction of additional forces has taken place. We also vehemently deny the presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan, he said.
Amid the military stand-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh, media reports claimed that Pakistan has deployed “almost 20,000 additional soldiers” along the LoC in PcK and Gilgit-Baltistan “to match Chinese deployments on the LAC in the east.
The report said that the level of troops Pakistan has deployed is more than what it did after the Balakot air strikes.
The ties between India and Pakistan strained following the Balakot strike on February 26 last year following the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14. The next day, the Pakistan retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was later released and handed over to India on March 1.
The ties further nose-dived after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Last month, India asked Pakistan to reduce the strength of its High Commission in New Delhi by 50 per cent within the next seven days and announced a reciprocal reduction in Indian strength in Islamabad.
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