The Chinese are sharing intelligence and equipment with the Pakistanis as the Pakistani Army prepares a final assault on the Taliban’s stronghold along the border with Afghanistan. Pakistan and China are teaming up to fight what government officials call a “syndicate” formed between the Taliban and Chinese Muslim separatists. Uighur separatists operate under Taliban protection maintaining training camps along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In order to enhance Pakistan’s ability to police the border region, China offered to sell Pakistan $280 million in equipment. The only specifics divulged by Chinese officials are that the equipment will include vehicle and mobile scanners which will most likely be deployed to detect car bombs. The security equipment is bound for the Pakistani police as the government announced a plan to recruit 20,000 new officers in the capital.
The increase in Chinese support could be related to an American House request made two weeks ago that China assist Pakistan in equipping and training their counter-terrorism forces. The Chinese military has formidable counterinsurgency experience and recently trained the Sri Lankan army, before that nation’s final confrontation with Tamil rebels. -- Giles Howard