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Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain in Islamabad. — AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain in Islamabad. — AP

ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has granted approval for assigning a division of Pakistan Army's special security for the protection of Chinese citizens working in Pakistan, President Mamnoon Hussain told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, during a one-on-one meeting.

The Army has created a special security division for the protection of Chinese engineers, project directors, experts and workers employed on various Chinese funded projects across Pakistan, the president said.

"I am pleased to inform you that the government has accorded approval to provide security to the Chinese working in Pakistan and a special security division has been created for this purpose," President Mamnoon Hussain told Xi Jinping.

Take a look: Xi Jinping's warm welcome in Pakistan

Military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa while talking to DawnNews confirmed the decision and said Rangers personnel will also be part of this security plan in addition to the army unit.

Military sources said a total of 10,000 troops have been dedicated to this purpose and a two-star senior military officer, who would report directly to the General Headquarters (GHQ), would head this security division.

Out of 10,000 troops, over 5,000 will be from the special services group of Pakistan Army who are specially trained for counter-terrorism and security.

Sources said the Chinese president during talks with Pakistani leadership had raised the issue of security for the Chinese professionals working in Pakistan. He was later assured by President Mamnoon that a decision has been made regarding security which would come into force with immediate effect.

Also read: Pakistan was with us when China stood isolated: Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Pakistan on Monday to launch projects worth $46 billion, a figure that would far exceed US spending in Pakistan and underscores China's economic ambitions in Asia and beyond.

Xi oversaw agreements on pipelines, power plants and other projects as part of a massive $46 billion joint development programmme that Beijing hopes will stabilise its longtime ally's economy and extend China's influence in western Asia. Pakistan hopes that the investment plan will end a chronic energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.