KARACHI: Sindh is in the process of recruiting more ex-servicemen for its Special Protection Unit (SPU), a part of the security arrangements being taken by the provincial government to safeguard the China Pakistan Economic Corridor-related projects, it emerged on Wednesday.

Officials in the provincial home ministry said the government had sanctioned the recruitment of 2,000 ex-servicemen for its security plan to protect the projects assisted by Chinese companies or experts, those related with CPEC in particular.

The officials said so far 1,025 ex-servicemen had been appointed in the SPU against 2,000 vacancies sanctioned by the Sindh government, while the recruitment of another 975 retired soldiers was under way.

Officials in the home ministry said the deputy inspector general of the Rapid Response Force (RRF) was coordinating with 441-Brigade for further recruitment. “[The] process of new recruitment is under way,” said an official.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had approved the regularisation of the ex-servicemen and the provincial finance ministry had issued necessary directions to the accountant general of Sindh in that regard, the officials said.

They added that the finance ministry also assured that necessary amendments would be made to the budget book of 2017-18.

A report prepared by the Sindh police chief claimed that trade convoys and machinery for the CPEC-related projects being transported were fully secured and escorted to Punjab and Gwadar. A total of 4,966 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies were responsible for the protection of 5,733 Chinese involved in 129 projects, 52 in the public sector and 77 in the private sector, the report said.

Apart from 1,025 SPU personnel, 796 policemen from districts, 80 officials of the Quick Reaction Force, Pakistan Army’s 268 soldiers, 468 personnel of the paramilitary Rangers, and 319 from the Frontier Constabulary were among those who have been assigned to protect the Chinese working on 129 projects in the province.

Besides, said the report, some 2,010 private security guards had also been made part of the overall security plan.

Army training

Meanwhile, police officials said 4,000 newly recruited constables formed the first batch who were being given three-month training at the Malir cantonment, Sindh Regiment Centre, Hyderabad, HQ-18 Division, Badin and Pano Akil cantonment.

They said the training of the second batch comprising 6,000 police constables would begin in March.

Besides, the appointment of 500 assistant sub-inspectors and 1,000 constables for the counterterrorism department is under way. Around 500 constables have joined the Rapid Response Force and further recruitment will be made shortly.

The recruitment of 935 ASIs is also under way through the Sindh Public Service Commission. “The police department is shaping itself to become adequately equipped and more responsive to the future challenges,” said a senior official in the home ministry.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2017

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