Amid a rise in attacks on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Balochistan, Pakistan has beefed up its security in the province to protect the facilities.
The information about the strengthening of security in Balochistan province was shared by Pakistan Military, reported Xinhua.
“We have raised two division-size security settlements which are dedicated to providing security to CPEC, besides that, we have increased the number of paramilitary troops’ units from one to two in the province to ensure security,” said Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General of the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations.
The security for the CPEC has been beefed up directly and indirectly by providing more security to CPEC projects and enhancing security in the whole province to ensure smooth work at CPEC projects after recent attacks on the facility, reported Xinhua.
Though Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan with ample natural resources, it remains the poorest and least populous. The Balochs have often raised the issue of under-development, but Pakistan has responded to it with forced abduction, torture, and harassment.
The Balochs also oppose China’s increasing involvement in the province. The CPEC has not benefited the people of Balochistan while people of other provinces enjoy the fruits of the mega project. This has led to widespread protests as the Chinese are viewed as encroachers who are squeezing out all the wealth from the region.
This has resulted in a surge in the deadly attacks by Baloch separatists on CPEC facilities.
In 2015, China announced the project in Pakistan worth USD 46 billion, of which Balochistan is an integral part. It would link Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China’s western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.