New Delhi: Chinese military help to Pakistan is continuing. And it isn’t just the transfer of weapons, but training. Most recently, at a 45-day training camp for serving personnel that began on May 1, five People’s Liberation Army instructors were present. It was held at Sipahi Camp, in Chinar Bagh, Jaglot, close to Gilgit, which is in Pak Occupied Kashmir.
The Chinese instructors were involved in readying Pakistan army soldiers in high-altitude warfare. This involves not only tactics but also physical conditioning. For, mountain warfare requires special skills and physical endurance.
Chinese assistance to the Pakistan army comes in the wake of creating a new military unit, recruiting people from Gilgit-Baltistan, a restive province. They will be called Specialised High Altitude Warfare Battalions or SHAWBS. They will be similar to light commando battalions.
During the Kargil war of 1999, the Pakistan army had deployed the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). Several battalions of the NLI were deployed in the mountains in the Kargil area and some bore the brunt of Indian heavy artillery, sustaining considerable losses.
The NLI battalions will be turned into SHAWBS and are likely to be deployed on the Line of Control in the future and perhaps, the Siachen area.