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Highly encrypted Chinese telecom gear seized from terrorists

Encounters with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have led to the seizure of highly encrypted Chinese telecom gear, “Ultra Set,” an equipment used by the Pakistani army that has found its way into the hands of terror groups, officials reported. The discovery of these devices has heightened concerns about undetected infiltrations across the Line of […]

Encounters with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have led to the seizure of highly encrypted Chinese telecom gear, “Ultra Set,” an equipment used by the Pakistani army that has found its way into the hands of terror groups, officials reported.

The discovery of these devices has heightened concerns about undetected infiltrations across the Line of Control (LoC) and the potential presence of terrorists in the outskirts of cities and villages.

Officials stated that the seizure of mobile handsets used by foreign terrorists, primarily from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, indicates that terror groups are receiving training, weapons, and ammunition from state actors in Pakistan.

The specialised “Ultra Set” handsets, customised by Chinese companies for the Pakistan army, were confiscated after gunfights in the Sindarah top area of Surankote in Poonch district during the night of July 17-18 last year, and in the Check Mohalla Nowpora area of Sopore in Baramulla district on April 26 this year. Four foreign terrorists were killed in the Surankote encounter, while two were gunned down in Sopore.

The “Ultra Set” handsets combine cell-phone capabilities with specialised radio equipment that does not rely on traditional mobile technologies like GSM or CDMA. The device operates on radio waves for message transmission and reception, with each “Ultra Set” linked to a control station located across the border. The officials noted that two “Ultra Sets” cannot communicate with each other directly.

Chinese satellites are used to carry these messages, which are compressed to bytes from the handset to the master server in Pakistan for onward transmission. This assistance is seen as another example of China supporting its key ally, Pakistan.

Beijing has been actively enhancing the defence capabilities of the Pakistani army along the LoC, including the construction of steelhead bunkers, provisioning of unmanned aerial and combat aerial vehicles, installation of encrypted communication towers, and laying of underground fibre cables.

In addition, Chinese radar systems such as the “JY” and “HGR” series have been deployed to improve target detection capabilities, while advanced weaponry like the SH-15 truck-mounted howitzer has been observed at various locations along the LoC.

These efforts are perceived as reinforcing China’s strategic interests in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), particularly in connection with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). While no presence of senior People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officials at forward posts has been detected, intercepted communications suggest that Chinese troops and engineers are involved in infrastructure development along the LoC, including the construction of underground bunkers and tunnels in PoK’s Leepa Valley.

These actions are believed to support the establishment of a direct route between the Gwadar Port in Pakistan and the Xinjiang province in China through the Karakoram Highway, a region under Chinese occupation.

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