Pakistan and China Reach New Intelligence Sharing Agreement

Pakistan and China have initiated an “unprecedented” intelligence-sharing relationship, U.S. News & World Report reported Thursday.

The new agreement provides Pakistan Defense Ministry officers with top-secret clearance to use and interact with the Chinese intelligence infrastructure under the aegis of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese Central Military Commission. While there is little public information about the commission, the most high ranking party and military officials are privy to its operations.

Islamabad has also provided assurances to Beijing that the Taliban will not act as a harbor for Uighur Muslims. China has reportedly forced over one million Uighurs into detainment and work camps within Chinese borders.

“The arrangement far exceeds any accommodation the Afghan insurgent network has ever afforded the U.S. with regard to Washington’s concerns about al-Qaida presence in Afghanistan,” U.S. News reported.

The two countries have also worked extensively on creating a trade corridor through Pakistan to buttress China’s ongoing “Belt and Road Initiative.” The project has pushed a large amount of capital into a floundering Pakistani economy.

“With the Chinese, we have a special relationship. And—it’s the way China functions—any issues like these we talk to them privately, we don’t make public statements, because that’s how China is,” Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan said last September.

“China came to help when we were right at the rock bottom,” he added.

Elsewhere in the region, the United States has struggled to make inroads to pacify the Taliban in a series of stalling peace talks. Meanwhile, China has developed relations with nearby authoritarian Iran with a series of military and technology sharing agreements.

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