Islamabad: Government would be recruiting around 15000 personnel to protect the projects in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms was told by the Project Director (CPEC) Major General (Rtd) Zahir Shah that one percent of the 46 billion dollars invested in CPEC would be spent on security. It was added that out of the 15000 personnel’s recruited about 9000 would be permanent army men and 6000 would be civilians on contract basis.
Zahir Shah said that, 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.” Senator Usman Kakar who also attended the meeting said that the eastern route was longer and was being given more preference than the western route by the government.The land from Zhob to Quetta and from Quetta to Khuzdar would be free of cost but the western route is not in the government’s priority list.It was also added that the armed forces in Balochistan had less representation from the province and security employees were being recruited from Punjab instead.
The chairman of the committee said that the government was wasting money on routes which were neither cheap nor short. It was added that in the time of need Pak-China friendship proved to be vital for the country and benefits of CPEC should be given to all the provinces in the country without any discrimination. Also that along with industrial zones being established welfare projects should also be initiated in the region. Corruption of all the projects must also be kept in mind with full transparency.
The Secretary Planning, Nasim Yousuf Khokhar said that the CPEC projects were worth 46 billion dollars. This amount would be used in various projects in various phases and major investment would be made in energy projects. It is said that 38 projects would be launched under CPEC and these projects were related to different ministries.
Balochistan additional secretary for planning told the committee that the land of Balochistan was the states property but when the government would go there to take the land then tribesmen would resist. He added that it would take time to construct the western route and the eastern route would remain functional until the western route is completed. Preference is being given to the eastern route because 75 per cent of the population lives there. Senator Tahir Mashadi said that the people think that China is our all weather friend and everything should be clear on CPEC
Major General (Rtd) Zahir Shah also said that, “The security of Chinese citizens working on CPEC related projects would be ensured.” He further added, “The Chinese are pretty much satisfied with the ongoing security arrangements.” Officials in 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.”