Economic corridor: 12,000-strong force to guard Chinese workers

Published: March 30, 2015
Army will train the personnel to provide fool-proof security. PHOTO:EPA

Army will train the personnel to provide fool-proof security. PHOTO:EPA


Pakistan plans to establish a ‘special security division’ for Chinese workers attached to the multi-billion Pakistan-China Economic Corridor projects in the country. The military will train over 12,000 personnel who will be inducted into the special division, officials familiar with the latest development said.

“A formal announcement is to be made as the Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Islamabad,” a senior security official told The Express Tribune on Sunday. Beijing and Islamabad are working on a $45 billion economic corridor, which will run through 3,000 kilometres from Gwadar to the Chinese city of Kashgar.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on a request by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, gave the go-ahead to the interior ministry to raise a high-profile force with the help of the military and provide foolproof security to the Chinese working on the economic corridor project, well-informed security officials said.

The issue of security is already on top of the agenda of the proposed meeting between Premier Nawaz and Chinese President Xi, who is expected to arrive next month, they said. Both leaders are going to discuss all projects particularly work on progress on the eastern route of Pakistan-China economic corridor which would run from Khunjarab via Mansehra, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Turbat to Gwadar, they said.

The recruitment process for this special security force is being deliberately kept secret, a senior official of the National Crisis Management Cell told The Express Tribune. Their [security personnel] induction either will be made through Pakistan police or Pakistan Rangers, he maintained.

The new special force, whose members are likely to complete their training by August this year, would also put its boots on security players determined for other projects namely Karachi Nuclear Power, Nandipur, Jinnah Barrage Rehabilitation, Dera Bugti and Saindak mines, Iron Ore Chiniot, Solar Park, Coal Mining, Chakwal, Coal Power Plant, Jhelum, Gwadar Port and projects being completed in Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan, he added.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is preparing a briefing on the issue of security to Chinese workers for visiting President Xi Jinping, a ministry official said. Nisar is also coordinating with all the law enforcement agencies keeping an eye on outer and inner cordon off deployment plan of security being given to Chinese workers, he added.

Already, an estimated 8,000 security officials have been deployed for more than 8,112 Chinese working on around 210 projects in Pakistan, an official of the National Counter-Terrorism Authority, who did not want to be named due to sensitivity of the matter, revealed.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Siraj Ahmed
    Mar 30, 2015 - 10:25AM

    If it needs 12000 security force to protect ‘Economic Corridor’ then it’s no more economical. Its costly to begin with. Besides, any number of security can’t really secure the areas as long as people did not like it. You can’t run chinese type of atheist stringent rule in Pakistan where we love Islam.Recommend

  • PK
    Mar 30, 2015 - 11:03AM

    @Siraj Ahmed, no it makes perfect sense. This is a 40 billion dollar + project. Designate a special force to protect workers. Its the least Pakistan can do, seen as China is investing so much money. And Pakistan has security issues.

    “Besides, any number of security can’t really secure the areas as long as people did not like it.”

    erm, i dont see many Pakistanis disliking such a huge infrastructure development, given its current route (not directly NORTH through Balochistan, KPK as originally planned), even a layman knows this hugely positive for the economy. Its just those who are at war with Pakistan, but as we’ve seen, they’ll target anything, and anyone. So does that mean China/Pak don’t build this corridor? Of course not. This is huge for the country, and a stepping stone to bigger things. Regardless of what the naysayers say and think.Recommend

  • Malveros
    Mar 30, 2015 - 11:20AM

    @Siraj Ahmed:
    Plz leave your comments and views across the border. They are not welcome in Pakistan. This is an excellent project which will link up all the neglected areas of the country.Recommend

  • abc
    Mar 30, 2015 - 11:39AM

    We do not understand that why the govt needs to build a strong force to guard people. Why dont they make the law and order situation under control and the whole country will be relieved. Recommend

  • N.Sid
    Mar 30, 2015 - 11:56AM

    This economic corridor will turn around the economy in one way or the other…win win for both the countries. Recommend

  • Maxx.
    Mar 30, 2015 - 12:00PM

    Good to see so many Chinese friends already in the country working on a number of projects. If you take into account people directly involved in military related the figure might be actually higher. Recommend

  • Fuad
    Mar 30, 2015 - 12:15PM

    Question: Why do we need so many Chinese Ex-pats, when we have a strong local workforce both blue and white collared? We should provide maximum numbers of laborers and professionals to execute the Mega Project.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Mar 30, 2015 - 12:57PM

    @Siraj Ahmed:
    one security guard per Chinese worker?? strange…..Recommend

  • hzr
    Apr 12, 2015 - 10:09PM

    Extension of Han colonies and a natural move from Xingjian..which is only next door.See how deep the realationship and it needs police protection to take care of it!Recommend

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