ISLAMABAD: Capital police’s Special Branch, Counter Terrorism Department and Security Division, will audit security arrangements of foreigners, especially Chinese nationals, to address the issue of reluctance on their part to disclose their residences and keeping their movements secret.

The purpose of the audit is to identify places where foreigners reside and find out if there is any shortcoming in the security protocols that required rectification.

The step has been taken by police authorities after it was found that over 1,000 Chinese nationals living in the federal capital were hesitant to inform the police about their place of residence and also kept their inter and intra-city movement secret. These Chinese are involved in various businesses and employments other than China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

Meanwhile, after a lapse of eight years, the District Foreign Security Cell (DFSC) is being established within the capital police in light of the orders issued by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).

The DFSC will be housed in the Central Police Office and its main purpose will be to provide security to each and every Chinese national at the same level as that extended to their countrymen attached with CPEC, police officers told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

Under the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the Chinese nationals associated with CPEC are provided security guards at their residences, workplaces and also during their movements.

The police officers said Nacta had ordered that a Foreigners Security Cell be established at the district level under the command of the area police, but no step was taken in this regard.

However, now when the Chinese nationals are facing threats from terrorist outfits, a wake-up call has been given to the capital police to implement Nacta’s order and establish the DFSC to ensure foreigners remain safe in Islamabad, the police officials added.

As per the SOPs, the DFSC will coordinate with all law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies on the security being extended to the foreigners. Security of Chinese nationals attached with CPEC is up to the mark, the officers said, adding that they stayed in groups and moved together which made it easy for them to provide security cover.

A software system is also being developed, which will be linked with Nadra and Border Management System in order to share details of the foreigners, the officers said, adding that any foreign national who landed at the airport informed the Border Management System about his or her destination. Relevant information available in the passport and visa will now be entered in the software system to alert the relevant area police, the police officers said.

According to a press release issued by capital, the District Foreign Security Cell will be headed by an additional superintendent of police operations under the supervision of DIG Operations.

The capital police will also engage services of Pakistani men and women fluent in Chinese language to assist the Chinese working for non-CPEC projects and other private companies, the press release added.

Meanwhile, quoting a threat alert, the police officers said: “It has been learnt through reliable sources that a splinter group of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) is planning to target Police Training College, Chaung and Elite Police Training School, Bedian Road Lahore. Reconnaissance of Police Training College Chaung has already been carried out whereas that of Elite Police Training School Bedian Road, has been ordered, they added.

“Furthermore, it has also been learnt that the splinter group may target Chinese nationals in Lahore,” the officers said, adding that in the backdrop of the special information report it is requested to ensure extreme vigilance and take intelligence-based counter terrorism measures.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2022

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