CPEC force deployment delayed with no authorisation from provinces

Islamabad [Pakistan], Sept. 7 : In the latest meeting that was called to review progress on the implementation of the (Dollar) 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, reports suggest that the special security division for the protection of Chinese workers could not be deployed because provinces are yet to give the necessary authorisation for their deployment.

The provinces are said to be reluctant over some issues, which included seeing the geo-economic strategic initiative as a threat to their designs.

In the meeting chaired by the Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal, officials of the National Highway Authority raised the issue of non-deployment of the Special Force on Thakot-Havelian project of the CPEC, reports the Express Tribune.

The officials added that one of the main issues that need to be addressed is whether the force's jurisdiction will be in the police station or the specific project area.

During the meeting, the interior secretary is said to have briefed those present that the provinces have not responded to the letters written to them on the rules of engagements of the armed forces in the execution of the CPEC projects.

Only Punjab is said to have responded to the letter, but a clear response wasn't given. It sought more clarifications on the matter. The Planning and Development Minister said that one-week deadline has been given to Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to give a response to the Ministry of Interior.

He added that the committee also recommended Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a meeting of the national steering committee on the CPEC.

Considered a part of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, CPEC, covers Balochistan and Sindh provinces and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Source: ANI