RAW at frontline to sabotage Economic Corridor, China warns Pakistan

Chinese authorities caution local authorities of a possible terror attack aimed at making the project a failure


Our Correspondent May 22, 2015
PHOTO AFP

ISLAMABAD: While a political ado is being witnessed in Pakistan on the suspected change of the Pak-China Economic Corridor route, Chinese authorities have cautioned local authorities of a possible terror attack aimed at making the project a failure.

According to them, insurgents in Balochistan have prompted security fears for the 3,000-kilometre-long route in the province, a senior security official told The Express Tribune on Friday.

He said in addition to the insurgents, many foreign hostile intelligence agencies could also extend their support to the militants to sabotage some key projects particularly on the eastern alignment -- Gwadar to Quetta -- where work has already started.

Read: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Lines of development – not lines of divide

“The Chinese have sounded a note of ‘caution’ soon after reports suggested foreign agencies’ support to militants,” said the official, who attended an important meeting discussing key issues relating to Gwadar Port and Economic Corridor at the Ministry of Defence this week.

He further said, “Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), with other hostile agencies, is at the frontline to sabotage this project – that is what Chinese intelligence agencies shared with us."

He added that the meeting also discussed concerns the Chinese authorities reminded Pakistan’s military and civilian government about an attack on state-run installations in Gwadar district last month, which were conveyed last month.

Security measures

Meanwhile, a special security division consisting of more than 8, 000 military personnel (nine army battalions) has been trained and will guard key projects linked from Hyderabad to Karachi and Gwadar through N-10 East Bay Expressway along the coastal line, officials overseeing the security of this route said.

They further said that an estimated 9, 000 security personnel – comprising Rangers, Levies, police, scouts – making up six wings will assist the military to guard more than 15,000 Chinese workers on this route.

Moreover, a major-general-rank officer will command the entire unit. Apart from guarding the economic corridor, an estimated 8,000 security officials have already been deployed for more than 8,112 Chinese workers executing 210 projects in Pakistan.

Gwadar Airport

An official of the Ministry of Interior revealed that the security layer around the Gwadar International Airport -- a project costing $230 million to start this month -- has been doubled following recent threats.

A similar case of security is with China-Pakistan Friendship Hospital and Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute falling under the jurisdiction of Balochistan, he added.

Security will have to be strengthened further as around 7, 000 additional Chinese workers are expected to join the already engaged teams to execute multi-billion projects around the route connecting Kashgar with Pakistan at Kunjarab – a point from where China wants to link to Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea.

Read: APC opposes detours in economic corridor route

Commenting on the complex situation, former caretaker interior minister Malik Habib said the reported presence of foreign elements in Balochistan poses a big challenge for law enforcement agencies to provide security to Chinese workers.

“The economic corridor is strategically very important -- many hostile agencies have started backing Baloch militants,” he said.

According to Director Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies Amir Rana, “China’s main worry seems to be the overall security of the corridor in the near future.”

Substantiating his point, Rana said threats such as tribal feuds, militants in Diamer, Baloch insurgents, political issues, nationalist and separatists groups link directly to the corridor security.

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COMMENTS (73)

shah | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend @Raj-USA The Idea That GCC CountriesAre Against Gwadar Because It Will Affect Their Port Business Is Ridiculous Since Thier Ports Serve A Completely Different Market Than Gwadar
Naeem Khan | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend @Raj - USA: Some of your reasoning is just speculations and hypothetical, the fact is Pakistan has an important role to play because of it's strategic geo-political location in the gulf, Yes, concessions has been granted to China to have naval facilities at Gwadar sea port. which counter balance other powers including India in that part of the world. Your assumption is wrong in regard to these pip sqeek countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Qatar to oppose Pakistan strategically, these countries are completely dependent on others including Pakistan for their defense and they are not in position to oppose Pakistan in this regard. Above all Pakistan is a sovereign country like India to make economic, cultural and military deals with any country they want to. If this deal does not suit India for what ever reason then it is just too bad, India has to lump it because it is going to happen. Mind it US as a super power has it's own interests in the region and they know the strategic location of Pakistan who is in position to monitor oil supply routes in the gulf region. The US will think seriously not to alienate Pakistan to the extent that Pakistan decide to get out their sphere of influence like Iran. You as an Indian know that our people on both side of the border are intelligent and hard working people and could match any body in the world, so don't under estimate Pakistanis not to take full advantage of this opportunity to develop some of the regions which needs development so badly. You are wrong again by assuming that majority of the people in K-P and Baluchistan will oppose this economic and military venture. I am a Pukhtun from K-P and I know that the Western Route west of Indus is already completed and operational which is linked with Baluchistan. Let me remind you that this route was developed mainly because of India, the planers knew that India could block eastern routes in case of war but they could never cross Indus and block western routes and Pakistan will always have lines of communications and supply routes open to them. If I recall correctly India tried to interfere then too but it could not stop it. It is time for Indians to accept Pakistan as a sovereign country with all it's faults and failings and stop dreaming of Akund Hindustan, it will never happen because of Pakistanis psyche, India was ruled by Muslims for over 600 years and they will never accept India's rule over them. It will benefit both nations if they stop undermining each other specially India who's belligerent and hostile attitude toward Pakistan at every juncture is well known to the world.. Pakistan is lot smaller country comparable to India and is not a threat to India's territorial integrity, so it is India which tries to destabilize Pakistan at any opportunity they get. I don't think RAW could derail this project, they may try and perhaps there will be some terror attacks and lives will be lost and there will be blood shed but it will be completed because the nation has decided and is determined to go ahead with it.
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