While Pakistan is grappling with a collapsing economy, China has boldened its pressure on Islamabad in various ways to ensure the safety of its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) assets in the country. According to reports, China is eyeing establishing its own private security company in Pakistan to protect the Chinese citizens and the CPEC-related developments amid the growing anti-Chinese sentiments in Pakistan. The decision stemmed from the recent deadly targetted attacks on Chinese nationals for which the Baloch militants claimed responsibility.
China has pushed for the arrangement for quite some time now, Japan-based Nikkei Asia reported. The publication further added that Islamabad Interior Ministry, however, refused to comply with the demands, assuring Beijing that the Pakistan security forces will be able to offer protection to Chinese nationals and CPEC assets. A local private security consultancy in Pakistan associated with the Chinese told Nikkei Asia that Beijing was looking forward to assembling its own security facility after 10 Chinese citizens were killed in a targeted bus attack in Dasu last year.
China urges Pakistan to address growing CPEC-related threats
On June 12, Chinese PLA General Zhang Youxia met with his Pakistani counterpart General Qamar Javed Bajwa, urging him to address the growing threats to Chinese nationals working on the CPEC projects. Beijing's top defence asked General Bajwa to implement adequate steps to "stop attacks" on Chinese workers.
For the unversed, CPEC is a $62 billion project and part of China's dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is aimed to build a vast network of roads and railways across Pakistan.