Islamabad – A special division of the Pakistan army would be formed to guard Chinese nationals working on various investment projects, as the South Asian country signs agreements with China to launch $45 billion Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.
The decision to create the Security Division was conveyed by President Mamnoon Hussain to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a meeting in Islamabad. “The security of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan is of paramount importance,” an official statement quoted President Hussain as saying on April 21.
President Xi arrived in Pakistan on April 20 for the first visit by any top Chinese leaders in nine years and singed 51 investment agreements worth $28 billion in energy, infrastructure and transport project. Most of the agreements are related to the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor Project.
Army spokesman Asim Bajwa confirmed the formation of the Special Forces division to provide security to Chinese workers engaged in PCEC project that will facilitate Chinese access to markets in South, Central and Western Asia, and to the Middle East and Africa.
“Pak-China Eco Projs: Spec security div comprising Army battalions, CAF Wings being raised as dedicated force 4 Pak-China Eco Projs.” Bajwa tweeted.
Pakistani troops are battling Taliban militants for over a decade and in June, 2014 launched a major operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in its northwester tribal year, used as sanctuaries by militants to launch attacks inside Pakistan and on international security forces across the border in Afghanistan. Militants have killed more than 50,000 people in Pakistan since 2001.
President Xi met chiefs of the army, navy and air force on April 20 and appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in counter-terrorism to promote peace, stability in the region, says a military statement. “Chinese President termed Zarb-e-Azb’s remarkable results as game changer in bringing peace.”
President Xi also addressed the joint session of the parliament and was accorded a standing ovation on his arrival at the parliament house. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed the Chinese leader. “All political parties in Pakistan have one united stance: Pakistan should have a robust bond with China,’ he said.
Sharif described PCEC as a “catalytic project that will help us to combine the geo-strategic and geo-economic streams of our relations”.