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COAS vows to meet CPEC projects' security challenges

Updated Mar 12, 2017 07:54am

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RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa meets the players of the Peshawar Zalmi cricket team at General Headquarters on Saturday.—Online
RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa meets the players of the Peshawar Zalmi cricket team at General Headquarters on Saturday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Saturday said that security forces were “fully prepared” to meet all security challenges to projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Chinese nationals living in the country.

He made these remarks during a visit to the headquarters of the 15,000-man newly-created Special Security Division (SSD), charged with the “security of Chinese on CPEC and non-CPEC projects”.

Gen Bajwa recalled the “hostile agenda” of forces opposed to the mega-connectivity and infrastructure project, which still faces threats from both regional and external players.


Receives Peshawar Zalmi at GHQ, dubs foreign players who came to Lahore ‘national heroes’


The military had announced the raising of the SSD soon after President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad in 2015 for the groundbreaking of CPEC projects. The division will provide security to Chinese personnel and projects throughout the country. It has been established in close collaboration with China and the two sides are also cooperating in the implementation of a multi-layered security plan.

The SSD consists of nine army battalions (9,229 personnel) and six civil armed forces wings (4,502 personnel), which have been raised at a cost of over Rs5 billion.

The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms has allocated one per cent of the total cost of CPEC projects for the running expenditure of the SSD to provide security for the corridor, project sites and Chinese nationals in the country.

The interior ministry finalised the SSD’s terms of reference (TOR) in January and sent them to provinces. The force will be deployed in accordance with Articles 147 and 245 of the Constitution and under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

During the visit, Gen Bajwa was given a detailed briefing on the Integrated Security Mechanism, run by the SSD.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the army remained committed to ensuring security for CPEC and the workforce involved. “He appreciated SSD for their state of preparedness and arrangements for execution of the assigned mission and tasks,” an ISPR statement said.

Security has been a major concern for the Chinese and they have emphasized this in their public statements time and again, shrouding their emphasis in phrases such as “should create a good environment [for] security” and “look forward to creating a more secure and sound environment”.

Apart from security incidents involving the construction of roads, three attacks on Chinese workers were reported last year.

Peshawar Zalmi

Also on Saturday, members of Peshawar Zalmi — the Pakistan Super League champions — met Gen Bajwa at the General Headquarters.

“The COAS congratulated [the] team and the management on their performance and success. He appreciated efforts by PSL, all teams and the management for bringing back cricket to Pakistan. He made a special mention and conveyed thanks for foreign players and guests who came to Pakistan,” an ISPR statement said.

Gen Bajwa said Pakistan was a peace-loving country and cricket was the most favourite game here and a binding force for the nation, hailing the foreign players who came to Lahore as “national heroes”.

Video footage of the meeting released by ISPR showed the army chief handing out souvenirs to Zalmi players, including Mohammad Hafeez, Umer Akmal and team owner Javed Afridi.

Following the meeting, several players from the squad — including DJ Malan and Marlon Samuels — posted messages on social media thanking the army chief for his gesture.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2017

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Comments (14) Closed



Alba Mar 12, 2017 07:58am

Does he have a choice?

72v Mar 12, 2017 08:13am

In which other country a army chief meets and greets a private club team with full honor and media glare.

Khurram Mar 12, 2017 09:39am

The biggest challenge in meeting CPEC security is the cost involved.

Akram Mar 12, 2017 10:08am

Congratulations to the nation on newly formed security division. This is a must to ward off evil eye from our East and immediate West. Without security CPEC can't establish itself, and without CPEC we can't get out of downward spiral of illiteracy and extremism not to mention jobs and prosperity

KSU Mar 12, 2017 10:32am

Very sad to see that precious resources are wasted in the name of security which otherwise would not have been necessary with a mindset change. A mindset change whereby in favour of never to pursue unrealistic and unachievable but focus on future of children.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Mar 12, 2017 10:34am

A very disciplined soldier.

naveed Mar 12, 2017 11:41am

@72v Army chief loves cricket like anyone else in this country. So its not strange thing for us.

Syam Mar 12, 2017 11:48am

Chinese money, Chinese companies, Chinese goods and Chinese staff. Pakistan's security. Ok. But some of brothern still thinking about the lions share in the profit.

Zak Mar 12, 2017 01:30pm

@72v pakistan is the first, because we set the trend. Appreciation from anywhere is welcome, from an army chief even more.

M. AsGhar Mar 12, 2017 01:33pm

Everyday the CPEC project is unfolding as more and more a Chinese adventure, where Pakistan's lack of vision is becoming more and more out of place and irrelevant, which may have serious consequences for its future.

Msadiq Mar 12, 2017 01:40pm

@Syam completely wrong ! roads in pakistan, dams and powerplants in pakistan, industrial zones in pakistan, ports and airports in pakistan, jobs and growth in pakistan, ... many sectors like steel, cement, transport .... are already booming. Unemployment record low, inflation record low, Stock Exchange and real estate sectors going through the roof , .. nobody is listeni g to your woshful propaganda !

Waseem Sarwar Mar 12, 2017 04:42pm

@72v , US president usually greets and meets franchise competition winners including super bowl winner. They are a franchise owned privately too. In Pakistan, COAS or anyone should set that tradition. Zalmis are winner of the biggest sports competition of Pakistan.

Parchi Mar 13, 2017 08:10am

@72v In no other country, army chief is given this much appreciation and honor as in Pakistan. That is why! Proud of COASPAK!

KAshmiri from SriNagar Mar 13, 2017 02:24pm

We all looking to watch this. It will be spectacular. We are proud of our army.