INTERIOR Minister Rana Sanaullah welcomes Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng upon his arrival at the Islamabad International Airport, on Sunday.—APP
INTERIOR Minister Rana Sanaullah welcomes Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng upon his arrival at the Islamabad International Airport, on Sunday.—APP

• He Lifeng to be chief guest at ‘Decade of CPEC’ event
• Over 2,700 police, FC and army personnel deployed

RAWALPINDI: Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng landed here on Sunday amid extraordinary security arrangements as over 2,700 security personnel are being deployed in Islamabad and Rawalpindi for the visit.

Mr He, a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Comm­unist Party, arrived on a two-day visit as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping at the invitation of the government of Pakis­tan to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of China Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC), APP reported.

Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Interior Rana Sana­ullah received the visiting dignitary at the airport.

During his visit, Mr He will also call on the president and prime minister, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Saturday.

“During his visit, He Lifeng will be the chief guest at an event celebrating the ‘Decade of CPEC’,” said an FO spokesperson.

According to the security details, around 2,716 personnel of police, Dol­phin Force, Frontier Cons­tabulary and Pakistan Army will be deployed to ensure foolproof security along the route and venues where the Chinese vice premier will stay and attend the ceremony.

Along with the Islamabad police, the Rawalpindi police will also perform security duties along the 39.5km route from Islamabad International Airport to the Punjab House.

According to details, 10 Superintendents, 18 Deputy Superintendents and 104 Dolphin Force personnel will be part of the security duties. The bomb disposal squad of the police’s special branch will sweep all bridges, culverts, underpasses, nullahs, metro bus stops, and other places along the route before the movement of dignitaries.

No vehicle will be par­ked along the route during the movements and security officials will report any suspected person or vehicles to senior officers.

The security personnel posted along the route will carry reflecting jackets, raincoats, bulletproof helmets and jackets, whistles and torches. Extra security will be ensured at sensitive points identified in the security plan. They will not be allowed to use mobile phones and have to display their official cards at all times.

Policemen will also be deployed on rooftops of high-rise buildings. They will be equipped with binoculars, wireless sets, and G-3 rifles.

A dedicated command and control room has been established by the Islamabad Safe City Authority to supervise security arrangements during the movement and stay of the delegation.

“Vice Premier He Lifeng has played a prominent role in China’s international economic relations and implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, of which CPEC is a flagship project,” the Foreign Office said.

As the chairman of Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, Vice Premier He was instrumental in the planning and execution of multiple CPEC projects in Pakistan.

“The visit is part of regular high-level exchanges and dialogue between Pakistan and China,” the FO statement said, adding the visit reflected the importance attached by the two nations to deepen their “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership”, enhance economic and financial cooperation, advance the development of CPEC and explore new avenues for strengthening trade and investment ties.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2023

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