ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: Pakistan is beefing up security around Chinese citizens streaming into the country on the back of Beijing’s ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure splurge.
China has often urged Pakistan to improve security after pledging around $57 billion to build power plants, railways, and roads that will cross the Himalayas to connect western China with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.
Pakistani officials have outlined to Reuters extensive security plans that include thousands-strong police protection forces, tighter monitoring of Chinese nationals, and in the province of Balochistan – where the two teachers were kidnapped on May 24 – a review of security arrangements.
The protection forces will buttress a 15,000-strong army division set up specifically to safeguard projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, which has been credited with rejuvenating Pakistan’s $300 billion economy.
“We are already alert, but this incident has made us extra vigilant over Chinese security,” said Amin Yousafzai, deputy inspector general of police of Sindh, which is home to about 50 million people.