Pakistan Punjab province home department has directed Chinese citizens living in the province and working with private companies to hire private security companies for their security, the Dawn said in a report.
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The province’s home department and police reviewed the security of the Chinese nationals working on government and private projects in the province on Thursday.
This comes despite the Punjab province government setting up a Special Protection Unit (SPU) in 2014 for the security of foreigners who are involved in Pakistan government sponsored projects.
Deputy Inspector General of Police of the SPU Agha Yousuf said that since there is an increase in terror attacks in Pakistan, security for Chinese officials in Pakistan government projects has been beefed up.
However, the report said that the Chinese citizens working for private organisations cannot be brought under SPU’s security cover and were advised to hire private security agencies for their security.
He said Chinese nationals working with private companies will be given security, noting that there are hundreds of Chinese nationals working with private companies.
The SPU DIG said that the government will bear the cost of the security of Chinese nationals working on government projects but SPU personnel cannot be deployed everywhere and it will be unable to pay for security of Chinese nationals working with private companies.
The home department said that it will fulfil its role by evaluating the private security agencies but reiterating that Chinese nationals working with private companies or running their personal business would have to take care of their own security.
When the SPU was set up in 2014, more than 3,300 security constables and 244 former army personnel in the rank of senior security constable to chief security officer and seven former army officers in the rank of additional director and deputy director were recruited to the agency.
The number has now risen to above 3,800 and there are more than 2,500 attached personnel from districts who provide security to 7,567 Chinese citizens working at four China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and 27 non-CPEC projects in the province, the Dawn said in its report.
It also said Chinese citizens residing in 70 locations and 24 camps in the province in Punjab are also receiving security via SPU personnel.
Pakistan has seen a rise in the number of attacks against Chinese people living in Pakistan. Chinese officials linked to CPEC have faced kidnappings and attacks and in 2022 Chinese nationals in Karachi University and Chinese citizens in other provinces of the country have been targeted in separate incidents.
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