Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Pakistan’s state minister for Interior Muhammad Balighur Rehman has said that 22 additional wings of Civil Armed Forces will be raised to ensure security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) projects.

The Senate resumed its session in Islamabad on Monday after a 2-day break with Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair. Convener Special Committee on CPEC Taj Haider laid second Interim report of the committee on CPEC in the house.

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Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Abdul Qayyum, Haider said that 17280 personnel will be hired for this purpose. “Over three thousand personnel have already been hired,” he told the Senate, adding that funds have also been allocated for the procurement of arms and ammunition for these wings.

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Balighur Rehman said that six more wings of the civil armed forces would be formed for the Special Security Division, which has also been established for the security of CPEC. He pointed out that the civil armed forces were playing a pivotal role in meeting border management challenges and security threats, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Senate’s budget in the next fiscal year and the expenditures incurred during the previous four financial years were also laid before the House.

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Since the inception of CPEC projects, the Pakistan Army had announced that it would raise a force specifically to protect them. General Raheel Sharif has repeatedly and stridently played up its importance, the threats to it from India, and the army’s determination to see it through, projecting the army as the best ally China has on CPEC.

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Since late last year, the army has been pressing for an institutional role in CPEC. In April, 2016, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that he had received an “informal proposal” six months back for the establishment of a CPEC Authority, in which the army would have a role, and for CPEC to be made part of the NAP against terrorism.