Pakistani Federal Minister for Interior Brigadier Ijaz Ahmad Shah expressed his views in a meeting with the Ambassador of China. The Interior Minister welcomed him and set to discuss bilateral ties between China and Pakistan.
According to the press release, Ijaz Ahmad said that ensuring foolproof security for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and all of its projects is of utmost priority for the government of Pakistan.
The Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong resonated with the Interior Minister saying that the cooperation between China and Pakistan has always been fruitful and productive. He also appreciated the security measures taken for the safety of Chinese people working in CPEC projects.
“We have increased the manpower and overall strength of Frontier Corps (Pakistani paramilitary force) to make sure that there is no problem faced in the smooth functioning of CPEC projects,” the Interior Minister said.
He said that CPEC has become a game-changer in the region. Infrastructure and development have played a crucial role in the economic progress of Pakistan.
On contrary, the locals and political forces of Balochistan, where the CPEC is based, tell a different story. The multi-Billion Beijing project is seen as a threat. As the CPEC gets implemented in Balochistan, there is a fear of a massive inflow of migrants from different areas of Pakistan which will change the demography of Balochistan and reduce the Baloch people to a permanent minority in their historic homeland.
According to Baloch nationalists, in order to provide security to Chinese facilities, Pakistan is raising special security groups and intensifying army operations in Balochistan. The brutal army operations have forced thousands of indigenous people to migrate to the other cities and government is not providing any basic facilities to the locals, they claim.
As per the reports, the residents of Gwadar city where the project is based, are deprived of drinking water and the fishermen are banned to fish. “CPEC project might open the doors of progress for Pakistan but it has become a curse for people of Balochistan,” Nationalists say.
Balochistan is in the throes of a popular movement for independence which is gathering intensity and ensuing armed conflict poses an enormous challenge to the corridor. Baloch armed groups have carried out massive attacks on Chinese engineers and projects in the past including the Pearl continental hotel in Gwadar and Chinese Embassy in Karachi.