ISLAMABAD: The lion’s share of Chinese projects currently underway in Pakistan have been assigned to Punjab, statistics shared with the Parliament revealed.
At present, 53 per cent of the total projects are being assigned to Punjab. The provincial government has deployed 6,346 security personnel for the protection of 3,754 Chinese nationals.
According to official statistics, out of the total of 330 projects, 176 are in Punjab while only eight projects have been allocated for Balochistan.
In a written reply to a question, raised by Shahida Rehmani in the National Assembly, regarding the security measures taken by the Ministry of Interior for the protection of Chinese personnel it was stated that a total of 16,703 security personnel were deployed for the protection of 8,819 Chinese nationals.
In his written reply, the Minister of Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan provided a breakdown and stated that 6,346 security personnel were deployed in Punjab for the security of 3,754 Chinese nationals while 3,134 personnel had been deployed in Balochistan for the security of 558 Chinese nationals.
As many as 1,912 security personnel have been deployed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to provide protection to 698 Chinese nationals, working on the 19 projects in the province. Meanwhile, 2, 645 personnel have been deployed in Sindh as security arrangement for protection of 1,141 Chinese nationals. The province currently has 103 Chinese projects underway.
Six projects have been allocated to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) for which 439 personnel of the law enforcement agencies have been deployed for the protection of 885 Chinese personnel.
The lower house was further informed that a Special Security Division (SSD), consisting of nine composite Infantry Battalions and six Civil Armed Forces (CAF) Wings, had been constituted at a cost of Rs21.57 billion, which will provide security to the Chinese nationals.
Provision of security to citizens of Pakistan as well as to foreigners is the administrative, legal and constitutional responsibility of the provincial governments, it said, adding that the provincial governments were duly assisted by the armed forces.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly claimed Punjab is to benefit the most from the projects starting under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2016.