ISLAMABAD: Amidst apprehensions about possible ‘subversive’ activities to damage the CPEC project, Pakistan Army has decided to take new measures to protect the ‘game changer’ plan.
Taking new steps of protection, Pakistan has once again assured China of full protection of the project and said that no stone would remain unturned in safeguarding the ongoing construction work and the labour involved in it.
The assurance was given by DG Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor while briefing visiting Chinese media persons in Islamabad yesterday (Saturday, May 18). He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a living example of deep-rooted friendship between Pakistan and China, and they are fully determined to ensure security of the project.
Talking about the security measures taken by the army to protect the CPEC, he said the Pakistan military had raised a whole division-size force to protect the project and they were planning to deploy another division for this purpose. He said that Pakistan has faced a very challenging war against terrorism during the last two decades, and now the security situation was under control.
About the CPEC role in the country, he said the economic prosperity brought about by the CPEC will fail the motives of terrorists, as with the success of project more employment and business opportunities will be unveiled and with more economic opportunities coming in, people’s lifestyle will improve and inimical elements will fail gradually.
He said the security situation in Balochistan had improved since the launch of CPEC and now there was a better infrastructure, as many Chinese projects were underway there, and with every coming day security, development and investment situation will get better. “Today’s Gwadar is not what it used to be two years ago and in future it will be on a par with the ports of developed countries,” he added.
Talking about the investment opportunities in Pakistan, Gen Ghafoor said Pakistan was doing its best to create an environment where investors could come and do their business as the security situation had greatly improved. “Though there are a few sporadic terrorist incidents, investors should not be discouraged by them and keep their trust intact in peace,” he noted.
Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Monday met Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa and General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman JCS Committee at JSHQ and discussed various issues of mutual concern and interests especially the regional security.
In a brief statement on the meeting, the Inter-Services Public Relations said that “During the meeting matters of mutual interest, including regional security situation, were discussed.
The meeting took place ahead of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan’s visit to Pakistan over the next few days. The Chinese vice president is one of the leading figures in China’s foreign affairs.
According to the sources, Pakistan and China closely coordinate their positions on regional matters. They have been cooperating for peace in Afghanistan, a process that has made little progress so far, and the developing situation in the Middle East is also of concern to both countries.
China at the start of this month lifted technical hold on the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar by UNSC Sanctions Committee leading to his proscription as a global terrorist.
China has been concerned at the intensification of terrorist activity in Balochistan, particularly the recent attack in Gwadar, which is an important node in cross-regional connectivity and the central pillar of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The attack was claimed by the banned Balochistan Liberation Army.
The Chinese ambassador informed both generals about the forthcoming visit his vice president and discussed some related important issues especially his security during the stay in Pakistan.