ISLAMABAD: The government is going to recruit around 15,000 security personnel to protect the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, whereas one per cent of the whole project’s investment will also be spent on its security.
On Friday, the Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms was told by the Project Director (CPEC), Major General (Retired) Zahir Shah, that a special security force to protect CPEC had been established.
Zahir Shah further briefed the committee that around 15,000 security personnel would be recruited including 9,000 permanent Army personnel and 6,000 civilian personnel on contract basis.
“One per cent of the total Chinese investment for CPEC would be spent on the security related arrangements as the project is facing several threats from internal and external enemies,” the Project Director CPEC added. The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi while it was also attended by Senators Usman Khan Kakar and Muhammad Mohsin Leghari.
Senator Usman Kakar pointed out that the eastern route was 900 kilometress longer than the western rout but despite this fact the government was giving more priority to the eastern route. He also highlighted that the armed forces there had less representation of the Balochistan province while Punjab would again take benefit as the maximum number of security employees would come from Punjab province. The chairman of the committee raised the point as to why the government was wasting money on costlier routes as it could embark upon the short and relatively cheaper routes.
He said the CPEC had become an example of Pak- China’s time tested friendship and urged that the benefits of CPEC projects should be provided to all areas of the country without any discrimination.
He said that along the besides establishing industrial zones on the CPEC route, projects for the welfare of the people should also be initiated. He also urged that corruption in these projects must be checked in order to ensure the implantation of the projects transparently.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed their commitment on multiple occasions that the project would be protected at any cost as it was a key to make Pakistan a developed country.
Major General Retired Zahir Shah while talking to Daily Times said: “The security of Chinese citizens working on CPEC related projects would be ensured.” He explained that 9,000 thousand soldiers would be recruited by the Pakistan Army on permanent basis whereas rest of the 6000 would be selected on temporary basis. He said further: “The Chinese are pretty much satisfied with the ongoing security arrangements.” A source inside the ministry of interior said: “The plan of providing security to Chinese nationals includes over 500 Chinese security personnel for capacity-building of the newly-raised special force.”