KARACHI: As China warns its citizens in Pakistan to be on the alert after receiving intelligence reports of possible attacks on their lives, the Sindh police are still waiting to receive promised funds from the federal government to complete its security plan for the nationals of the neighbouring country who are working on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in the province, sources and officials said on Tuesday.
An official confirmed that the Sindh police had set up a unit for the Chinese nationals but its plan to establish two more units had not been initiated yet.
Among several other reasons, he cited, non-release of funds by the federal government.
“The Sindh police have set up a security unit with 1,358 personnel who are mostly retired army men to provide security to the Chinese nationals.
“They have also planned to establish two more units, one comprising 1,300 men and the other 1,000.
“But availability of funds is the key factor behind their establishment. Currently, the Sindh police are maintaining expenses of the only unit through its regular budget. It cannot last for long if proper funds are not given to the province,” he said.
According to the modalities of the CPEC, the official said, one per cent of the total cost of any project had to be earmarked for security.
With billions of rupee projects being launched in the province, the Sindh government has not received one per cent of each project for security from Islamabad.
“The Planning Commission is looking after this subject. The Sindh police have approached the provincial government with the request which the latter will take up with the authorities in Islamabad.
“It’s a special task or you may say special policing with particular objective and target. One cannot afford any casual and callous approach on the subject,” he added.
The fresh claims came days after China warned its citizens in Pakistan to be on the alert after receiving intelligence reports of possible attacks on their lives.
The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad earlier this month said on its website that it had information about a “series of terror attacks” planned against Chinese organisations and personnel, without giving details.
It urged its citizens to stay inside and avoid crowded places.
“Special police units for security of Chinese nationals, associated with the CPEC, are part of the plan which is being followed by all the four provinces,” said another official.
“In Sindh, the unit which was set up has been deployed for the security of Chinese nationals in Karachi alone.
“The Sindh police have planned more units for Hyderabad and Sukkur with the same objective. The new units will be led by SP-rank officers,” he added.
Called as Special Protection Units, he said, these units would be operating under the Sindh police’s Rapid Response Force.
The special units were organised in line with the government of Pakistan’s promise to China that it would make special security arrangements for the CPEC and the Chinese nationals in the country, he concluded.
courtesy-Dawn, December 27th, 2017