LAHORE: The Punjab police are considering withdrawal of security from the Chinese working on private projects apparently owing to shortage of force and excessive police engagements in security and law and order duties.
The police authorities are mulling to advise three categories of Chinese to hire private security before withdrawal of officials from them.
The decision to review the security arrangements of Chinese nationals working at private projects was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the provincial home minister on Feb 2 in which it was decided that a deadline would be given to the Chinese to arrange their own security across the province.
Officials told Dawn that the provincial government would only guard the Chinese working on its projects in future and all policemen deployed with other Chinese (working on private projects) would be withdrawn after unspecified period of time.
Advice to various categories of workers
Currently, there are 237 Chinese working in the capital city district -- 85 are working on 26 government projects while 152 others are associated with 45 private projects. As many as 176 policemen and 578 private security officials are deployed with the Chinese on private projects while 113 policemen, 36 Railway policemen and 108 private security men are guarding 85 Chinese involved in government projects.
Four police escorts also are part of security of the Chinese working on four government projects. They are being provided the police security at workplace as well as residences.
In Punjab, there are more than 4,000 foreigners, majority of them the Chinese, working on 164 government and private projects and around 3,000 officials of Elite Police Force and Special Protection Unit are deployed on their security.
A senior police officer associated with the security of the Chinese told Dawn on Thursday that no time frame had been decided for withdrawal of policemen from the Chinese employed on private projects or doing their businesses but it was getting difficult for the police to guard all of them.
He said a number of Chinese workers had been hired by private contractors, some were doing their own businesses and running companies and a few of them were doing jobs in private sector.
The officer said the police were still awaiting final nod from the government, adding that the security of all Chinese would remain with the police and private companies at least till the completion of Chinese president’s Pakistan visit in the fourth week of March.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2015