The government of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has not given Chinese companies any infrastructure development projects in 13 constituencies along the Line of Control (LoC). The reason, given to this newspaper by Dr Syed Asif Hussain, the director general of the State Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Agency in the PoK government, was that since it (the LoC) was a disputed area, the work would have to be done by the locals, and not by Chinese companies. However, Chinese companies were earlier engaged in the area in construction and development projects worth six billion rupees. Major projects that have been handled by the Chinese are the Mangla Upraising Project, Neelum Jhelum Hydel Project, earthquake rehabilitation, and the 76 km Muzaffarabad road.

The infrastructure development along the LoC will be funded by the Pakistan government and carried out under the supervision of the Pakistan Army.

The funding is worth 6.5 billion rupees.

The development project will be completed in five years.

Some of these constituencies are Chakhoti, Neelum, Mendhar and Hajipir. Some of them are right on the Indian border.

The Indian Army had in the past said that Chinese workers were being involved in infrastructure projects along the LoC, and that People’s Liberation Army troops were present in PoK.

The Ministry of Defence’s 2008-09 annual report had warned about the possibility of China “enhancing connectivity” with Pakistan through disputed territories in the Jammu and Kashmir, including PoK.

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