The Pakistan government has formed a special security division comprising 1,200 strong security personnel specially trained to protect Chinese engineers and workers, and to secure multi-billion Chinese investments in Balochistan’s port city of Gwadar.
A meeting on Friday finalized the formation of a new force consisting of 1,200 personnel for the so-called “Gwadar Safe City Project”.
This meeting was presided over by Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch and attended by Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Muhammad Nasser Khan Janjua.
China has been building a deep-sea port in Gwadar along with an “economic corridor” connecting the port city to China. The Chinese government has pledged to invest over 45 billion dollars for a number of projects over a period of 15 years.
However, the presence of Baloch separatist militant groups in the area has impeded Pak-China efforts to materialize the projects. They have regularly targeted Chinese installations and Pakistan military officials as they see these projects as a conspiracy to convert the Baloch majority into a minority in the area.
The Chinese government has reportedly asked Pakistan to ensure the security of the projects if they want China to invest such a huge chunk of money in the area. The formation of the new security force for Gwadar is a direct assurance to China that Pakistan is doing its best to ensure the security of the multi-billion dollar projects.
According to Express Tribune, the “high-profile force” was being formed on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked for “foolproof security to the Chinese working on the economic corridor project”.
The meeting presided over by Dr Malik Baloch decided to allocate Rs2 billion for the formation of the new security force. It also pledged special measures for the security of Chinese engineers working in Balochistan.
Chinese engineers have often come under attack from Baloch militant groups.
The specialized force will also try to secure the Coastal Highway for the movement of equipment and Chinese workers needed for the completion of the projects.