Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Beijing [China], December 5 (ANI): For digital transformation, Pakistan mostly relies on China's digital silk road, making it look more dependent. The China-Pakistan economic corridor is undergoing digital transformation with special emphasis on technology and telecommunications, reported NIKKEI Asia.

Pakistan's planning minister recently told Nikkei Asia, China's flagship economic corridor with Pakistan is being upgraded with a focus on technology and telecommunications. Digital projects can offer lower upfront costs and faster timelines than large transport and energy projects. But they also carry risks.

Pakistani President Arif Alvi further reiterated, "The future is data...Everything is going to be digital... e-commerce, e-agriculture, e-finance, e-health," reported NIKKEI Asia.

Pakistan is mostly dependent on China's Digital Silk Road for such essential functions as required to necessitate digital transformation, making it look like dependency, reported NIKKEI Asia.

"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor's digital dimension could become its strongest form of connectivity," reported NIKKEI Asia. Major Pakistan cities have Chinese surveillance equipment.

In fact, Pakistan is the only country that has signed the most number of "safe city" agreements with Huawei, according to research by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

However, many have claimed operational difficulties with cameras and video footage along with backdoors being installed in hardware and software. Huawei has denied these accusations, reported NIKKEI Asia.

China's Beidou satellite navigation system, an alternative to GPS delivers military capabilities to Pakistan. It also provides civilian services including location services for phones, fitness bracelets and other consumer devices to Pakistan.

'Pakistan is the only country outside of China known to have access to the Beidou's military services, which are even more powerful than the civilian version and can guide missiles, ships and aircraft,' reported NIKKEI Asia.

Evidently, Chinese loans and delivery of other services to Pakistan only strengthen the former's grip in Pakistan. However, digital dependency on China poses greater and newer risks. China could monitor and interfere with Pakistan's digital infrastructure and intelligence, posing future risks. (ANI)

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