A spate of Chinese-made medium-range air defence missiles have been deployed in several cities and military bases in Pakistan to prevent possible new strikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the wake of its raid on an alleged terrorist camp in the Pakistani-controlled area of Kashmir in February, DNA news outlet cited intelligence reports as saying.
The air defences, which were reportedly deployed near India’s border, include five LY-80 (HQ-16) surface-to-air missile units and IBIS-150 surveillance radar batteries “capable of tracking and destroying a variety of aerial targets at longer ranges flying at low and medium altitude”.
Additionally, the Pakistani military reportedly deployed Chinese-made Rainbow CH-4 and CH-5 drones to conduct surveillance and potential strikes along the Kashmir Line of Control.
The development comes after Pakistani President Arif Alvi accused India of having an “irresponsible” attitude and praised Islamabad’s immediate and effective response to what he described as “Indian aggression”.
“After the Pulwama attack, India blamed Pakistan without any evidence. India did not adhere to international laws and violated Pakistan's airspace,” Alvi said, referring to the 14 February attack on an Indian security convoy in the Indian-controlled area of Kashmir by Pakistan-based Islamist militants, which claimed the lives of at least 40 security personnel.
In a separate development earlier this week, Beijing moved to support Islamabad against the backdrop of simmering Indian-Pakistani tensions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi underscored that “no matter how things change in the world and in the region, China will firmly support Pakistan in upholding its sovereign independence and territorial integrity and dignity”.