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ISLAMABAD: The government has deployed 15,000 military personnel, as part of the Special Security Division (SSD) and Maritime Security Force (MSF), to protect projects under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Both forces will work under the interior ministry, in coordination with the provinces, to ensure the safety of locals and foreigners working on CPEC projects.

“The SSD is a force that will provide security to 34 CPEC related projects, while the MSF will safeguard the Gwadar port and other coastal areas of the country,” Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Parliamentary Commit­tee on CPEC, told Dawn after a committee meeting in Parliament House on Monday.

He said the SSD had been deployed in six zones from Gwadar to Gilgit-Baltistan, including all four provinces and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

“Under its terms of reference, the SSD will be responsible for the security of the area within a 5km radius of CPEC-related projects,” he said.

In addition, the SSD will also patrol different areas of the corridor, especially where road-building projects are under way.

Both the SSD and MSF were formed in view of possible threats to the $48 billion CPEC and the foreign nationals presently engaged in infrastructure and power generation projects being commissioned under its umbrella.

He said the SSD and MSF were raised over the course of a year and that both forces were equipped with state-of-the-art weapons, equipment and vehicles. “Most SSD personnel are serving armymen,” he added.

Responding to a question regarding the concerns raised by provinces regarding an overlap in security duties being performed by the SSD and the provincial police, Senator Sayed said the terms of reference of the SSD were developed in consultation with provincial governments to remove any concerns they might have.

According to a press release, the committee was briefed by senior officers from the ministries of defence, interior and communication. The briefings included information about the formation, jurisdiction, working and challenges for these newly-created security agencies.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2017

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Comments (35) Closed

JuBeir Feb 21, 2017 09:38am

Let's hope the cargo protected is worth more than the cost of protection for Pakistan.

Jay SHah Feb 21, 2017 09:46am

Every Pakistani should play a role in the success of CPEC.

Ahamd Feb 21, 2017 09:47am

Who is paying for these 15000 personals? It is going to cost around $130 million for these personals salary(on avg. 25000 PKR) every year.

Rejith HR Feb 21, 2017 10:42am

This will definitely affect the common man. Even now, public debt is more than 100,000 Rupees per head. Once CPEC is complete, liabilities will be more for Pakistan

Rahul Feb 21, 2017 10:44am

That's probably more than the cops protecting the Pakistani citizens.

rohtak Feb 21, 2017 10:56am

Protecting from who?

timurid Feb 21, 2017 10:58am

What does it even mean? Protect the projects where? For how long? Power projects don't end at the generation point. Every node till the consumption point is vulnerable. Road and rail projects are notoriously easy to sabotage especially post-completion. Personnel can't protect a project of this scale. There has been no talk of technology being deployed. Maybe it's being done and we're too ignorant to understand the grand wisdom.

maverik Feb 21, 2017 11:10am

Glad to hear that the establishment of SSD & MSF was completed in time. It's a bad neighborhood, and CPEC is the most important thing for us, and our enemies.

Khan-HaqIqi Feb 21, 2017 11:16am

15000 and an average salary of 30,000 rupees per month came to 45 Crore per month, hope the benefits outweighed the cost else we will paying from our pockets to safeguard Chinese exports using our infrastructure build by Chinese loans

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 21, 2017 11:26am

Interest loans rates/Corruption two problems of CPEC which can cause other issues in longer run. Overall CPEC is a great project, implemented right can benefit sinopak both.

Excellent job by the Pak Armed forces for providing cover from hostile elements and their abettors, both inside and outside of Pakistan.

M. Emad Feb 21, 2017 11:40am

Who paying Security costs ?

kK Feb 21, 2017 11:41am

Shoudlnt this be handled by trained/skilled civilian guards since the CPEC is a peace time civilian project. .Military has other pressing security stuff to attend which will need these people.Being overtly dependent on miltary resources can also make it more sluggish during emergency times.

viv Feb 21, 2017 11:58am

@AHAMD and M.EMAD Pakistan has to pay this cost.China has no liability towards security expenses.

Zak {PAK} Feb 21, 2017 12:02pm


Syam Feb 21, 2017 12:22pm

Once CPEC completed, no money problem. Pakistan will give loans to other countries. The cost of security expenses is nothing. With just interests on loans the cost can manage.

KK Feb 21, 2017 12:34pm

15000 for security, are they digging gold at CEPC??

The other Feb 21, 2017 12:33pm

All cpec employees are Chinese. Finally 15000 locals have got jobs. Wah to go. Swell it to 50000 jobs ASAP.

Vishal Feb 21, 2017 12:50pm

Only proves how vulnerable Pakistan is bcoz of its own policies

aditya Feb 21, 2017 01:40pm

protecting foreigners..a special u people have any self respect..AND u the citizens are paying for it..unreal

ABE Feb 21, 2017 01:41pm

That's nice. We need to protect Chinese personnel and their investments.

But how many are protecting the Pakistani public?

The daily scene of carnage around the country indicates our misplaced priorities. The dead or maimed Pakistanis may not derive much benefit from CPEC, because the government is too busy protecting foreigners and not its own citizens. Security should be across the board for every living being in the land - regardless of race, religion, color or creed.

Global Peace Feb 21, 2017 01:50pm

need more security. Once all trucks starts coming need escort vans for 10 - 15 group of trucks

Skeptic Feb 21, 2017 01:59pm

Now we know why there is such a lack of security, if 15000 are protecting a project site which is long way away from becoming operational. Unless the Chinese are paying for it, than using resources that could be employed to protect ordinary Pakistani citizen is criminal neglect on the part of the government.

You don't see this kind of misuse of critical resources anywhere. Especially in a country which is becoming a heaven for terror attacks around all major cities and towns on almost a daily basis. Someone is not paying attention to prevent yet another carnage, if the focus is on Chinese investments only. Tomorrow, we will all be questioning this debacle.

Balooch Feb 21, 2017 02:56pm

who will protect the common man.

SaiF zulfIqar Feb 21, 2017 02:58pm

CPEC has made every Indian from having sound sleep, including the ruling ministers. Wait there are more projects on the board.

timetostopthis Feb 21, 2017 03:02pm

Who is paying for all of them?

Skeptic Feb 21, 2017 03:07pm

If the Police and Security personnel are themselves the main targets of terrorists, than they themselves are too fearful to do their job effectively. Perhaps another force to protect the security force too?

And we thought only the US has the largest layers of security and law-enforcement agencies. In Pakistan, it is already close to a ten and yet no assurance to the public of their personal safety.

Manu Feb 21, 2017 03:28pm

Security alone will cost Rs. 1000 cr annually.

Najam Feb 21, 2017 03:40pm

@Rahul whatever but we have to protect cpec from india that is most inportant for us

Abdulla Hussain Feb 21, 2017 04:03pm

@JuBeir: No cost is greater than national security & protection of national wealth. CPEC is a national wealth.

Abdulla Hussain Feb 21, 2017 04:04pm

@Ahamd: Fifteen thousand Pakistanis got employment and an opportunity on working to protect CPEC which is considered a national wealth is a very good deal. The question who is paying is irrelevant.

My 2 cents Feb 21, 2017 04:42pm

please protect the country and people not organisations and projects....

Pawan Feb 21, 2017 04:48pm

Assuming pakistan government spends average 50000 pakistan rupees on per staff including salary and accommodation per month. Multiply that by 3 years of security it will cost pakistan almost approx USD400 million just for security

Jarnail Singh Chahal Feb 21, 2017 05:01pm

(A friend in need is a friend indeed) Pakistan protecting the chineses interests it shows Pakistan is a real friend of china.

AsaD Feb 21, 2017 05:28pm

Well it doesn't matter who is paying what and how much. At the end of the day, those 15000 officers will protect people working on CPEC and infrastructure. Very minuscule price for preventing sabotage attempts by enemies of nation. Also, the salary earned by these officials will end up back in the local economy which will generate more opportunities for others overall. Small step, but positive and in right direction!

Qazi Feb 21, 2017 07:02pm

Well done pakistan.