Written By: Lt Col Fawad Qasim
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is called a 'game changer' project, which includes connectivity, generation of energy and development of infrastructure for linking Gwadar Port to China’s Xinjiang province. CPEC has kicked off successfully after security of all the projects was ensured by the Special Security Division (SSD), raised by Pak Army for the protection of Chinese working on CPEC projects. Pakistan Army fully cognizant of the challenges has left no stone unturned to provide protection to this project of vital national importance.
Due to the diverse nature of threats to CPEC, Pakistan Army has raised SSD, dedicated primarily to the security of Chinese working on CPEC projects. The SSD has been raised and operationalized in a record time of less than two years and has taken over all the running projects of the CPEC. Due to raising and operationalization of SSD, Chinese government as well as CPEC management has gained confidence and assurance about security of Chinese working in Pakistan. Progress on the ongoing projects, already taken over by SSD to provide security is elaborated in ensuing paragraphs.
CPEC Projects – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). CPEC projects being developed in KP and provided security by SSD are as under:-
• Karakoram Highway (Havelian-Thakot Section). Havelian-Thakot section of KKH is being developed under upgradation plan of KKH.
• Suki Kinari Hydropower Project (SKHPP). SKHPP will add 870 MW of energy to the national grid.
CPEC Projects – Gilgit Baltistan. Cross Border Optical Fiber, passing through Gilgit Baltistan connects Xinjiang with Islamabad through optical fiber.
CPEC Projects – Sindh Province. CPEC projects initiated in the province of Sindh and provided security by SSD are as under:-
• Engro Thar Coal Fired Project. Engro Thar Coal Fired Project is being developed in Thar near Islamkot. The project is a set of four sub-projects aimed at producing a total of 1320 MW of energy.
• Port Qasim Electric Company Coal Fired Power Project. The project will be using coal for generation of energy and is being developed at Port Qasim. The project once completed will add 1320 MW of energy to the national grid.
• Wind Energy Projects. Four wind energy projects including Hydro China Dawood Wind Energy, UEP, Sachal and Pakistan Wind Farm are near completion and will add approximately 250 MW of energy to the national grid.
CPEC Projects – Balochistan. CPEC projects being developed in the province of Balochistan and provided security by SSD are:
• HUBCO Coal Power Project. The project is being developed in Balochistan and will add 1320 MW of energy to the national grid on completion.
• Gwadar Port/Economic Zone. Master plan for Gwadar Port and city is already in implementation phase. The plan includes construction of international airport, technical and vocational institute, East Bay Expressway and development of deep-sea port.
CPEC Projects – Punjab. Projects being developed in Punjab province and provided security by SSD are:
• Karot Hydro Power Project (KHPP). KHPP is being developed on river Jehlum. Major portion of the project lies in the Punjab province, however, a part of the project is located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The project once completed will add 720 MW of energy to the national grid.
• Sahiwal Coal Fire Power Project (SCFPP). SCFPP is being developed in Qadirabad near Sahiwal. The project once completed will add 1320 MW of energy to the national grid.
• Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Park (QASPP). QASPP is developed in Lal Suhanra near Bahawalpur. The project once completed will add 1000 MW of energy to the national grid.
• Matiari-Lahore and Faisalabad Transmission Lines. In order to transfer the energy from South to North, Transmission Line Projects from Matiari to Lahore and Faisalabad have been started.
Peshawar–Karachi Motorway – PKM (Multan-Sukkur Section). Multan-Sukkur section of PKM is a motorway segment of approximately 400 kms being developed as part of the eastern route of CPEC.
Expansion/Reconstruction of Existing Railway Line (ML-1). ML-1project encompasses expansion and upgradation of existing railway line from Peshawar to Karachi.
CPEC is confronted with multiple challenges particularly security threats from external as well as internal inimical forces. Pakistan, a key stakeholder in CPEC has taken deliberate measures to ensure foolproof security of Chinese nationals working on CPEC. Raising of the Special Security Division (SSD) by Pakistan Army has comprehensively addressed the concerns of Chinese government and ensures security of Chinese nationals across entire Pakistan.