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Pak establishes Special Security Division for CPEC

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks at the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The Interior Ministry has established the Special Security Division (SSD) tasked with protecting the USD 53 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The force, which will comprise of nine army battalions and six civil wings having 13,700 personnel, has been assigned with the duty of protecting projects under the CPEC and Chinese workers working on these projects, reports the Radio Pakistan.

According to an official of Planning Division after requisition from the provinces, deployment order shall be issued by the Interior Ministry.

The government had earlier allocated Rs 1.3 billion for CPEC security in addition to efforts made by the provincial governments.

The cost of raising the SSD was Rs0.5bn according to officials briefing the committee.

CPEC has been projected as a major boost for the economy by the Pakistan Government with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying it is a cornerstone of Islamabad’s own quest for regional connectivity and shared prosperity.

But locals in Balochistan say they have not benefited one bit from the CPEC and alleged that their lives have become more miserable after the government’s ambitious project saw the light of day.

The CPEC is considered to be an extension of China’s ambitious proposed 21st century Silk Road initiative and is considered central to China-Pakistan relations. (ANI)