Minister directs CPEC security review every month

Iqbal asks line ministries to provide assessment of security challenges

Our Correspondent May 07, 2022
Ahsan Iqbal. PHOTO: PID


Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday directed the officials to ensure that security review of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held every month and that all line ministries must follow the laid-down security protocols for the Chinese working on the projects.

Chairing a meeting to review security of the CPEC projects, Iqbal stated that the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) should function as per its laid-down role and objectives to provide in-depth assessment of the security challenges to the government.

The meeting was attended by the secretaries of foreign, interior and information ministries and relevant stakeholders. The minister emphasised the need for building a safe and secure environment for CPEC and to effectively tackle kinetic and non-kinetic challenges.

“CPEC is a flagship scheme of Pakistan-China economic cooperation, which can enable Pakistan to become an industrial economy. It is unfortunate that the momentum of 2013-18 could not be sustained,” said the minister.

He expressed concern that the Pakistani side of the CPEC Joint Working Group on Security had not been meeting frequently. He directed the interior ministry to regularly convene its meetings on a monthly basis. “Without a coordinated effort there can be gaps which must be filled,” he added.

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He said that Nacta should function as per its laid down role to provide in-depth assessment of security challenges. “It will help the government expand its security lens by addressing socio-economic grievances of the people that, if left unaddressed, may pose security challenges,” he said.

“Our security lens must also focus on limiting the vulnerability of our youth towards violence, extremism and propaganda,” said the minister, who promised to undertake measures to ensure that “the youth is not alienated in socioeconomic development process especially in less-developed regions of Pakistan”.

Iqbal directed all line ministries to ensure that laid-down security protocols were followed by the Chinese working on CPEC. He added that the propaganda against CPEC was an attempt to deny the people of the less-developed regions the benefits accruing from the grand project.

It was noted in the meeting that after a recent incident in Karachi, the government had decided to ensure foolproof security to the Chinese workers in the country. Iqbal directed the information secretary to engage the regional media so that the youth of Balochistan could be engaged.


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