Pakistan establishes Foreign Security Cell to safeguard CPEC as attacks against Chinese nationals mounts

CPEC foreign security cell Balochistan

With Chinese nationals in Pakistan continuously being targeted in attacks, Islamabad is increasing its security arrangements to safeguard its multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by establishing a foreign security cell.

According to a report by The News International, Pakistan Police will set up a foreign security cell at the Central Police Office (CPO) with the requisite staff and logistics.

As per the report, the Special Branch, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and Security Division were assigned to audit the security arrangements periodically.

The major development came nearly two weeks after a delegation led by Cheng Guoping, China's External Security Commissioner, visited Islamabad and requested the newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to provide better security arrangements to their citizens who have been engaged in the CPEC project.

Subsequently, Sharif proclaimed that his government was committed to providing the highest level of security to all Chinese institutions and nationals working on various projects in the country.

According to the announcement, the Capital police will engage the services of Chinese speaking young Pakistani men and women to oblige the Chinese working on non-CPEC projects and working for other private organisations.

Notably, China's highly touted project aims to connect Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province. It is considered a flagship plan of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

When the plan was put forth in front of the Pakistani government, it was valued at $46 billion. However, when it was recalculated in 2017, the CPEC projects were worth $62 billion.

According to the Pakistan-based news outlet, numerous terror strikes, and corruption have slowed down China's ambitious plan.

Earlier, in April this year, an explosion ripped through a van inside a university campus in southern Pakistan, killing three Chinese nationals.

This resulted in massive outrage among the Chinese working in the country. At that time, Sharif had to condemn the attack calling it “heinous”, saying “the perpetrators will surely be brought to justice.”