Pakistan China cross border strategic fibre optic cable planned for secure communication

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Pakistan China cross border strategic fibre optic cable planned for secure communication

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is planning to lay a 135-km-long cross-border fibre optic cable to China as part of the ambitious CPEC project.

The project is estimated to cost about 44 million dollars.

Pakistan is concerned that India may snoop into phone and e-mail chats as the existing service provider also has Indian firms as partners or shareholders.

The issue was flagged by Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa, Pakistan army communication head, in January this year at a parliamentary committee meeting.

He reportedly informed that some incoming and outbound internet traffic landed in India before being routed to its destination, posing a security risk.

Islamabad, hence, wants to rout the internet traffic through China to minimise that risk.

The new direct line to China will provide a reliable and secure communication which is now being routed through Europe, the United States or India, it said.

It is also expected to boost internet penetration and speed, particularly in the Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan regions where the connectivity is poor.

Also, it will help reduce Pakistan’s dependence on undersea cables that proved to be costly, the report said, citing the Long Term Plan (LTP) government document prepared for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.