Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Friday said that security forces are ready to pay any price to turn the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) dream into reality.
“We are aware of all the campaigns against CPEC,” said the army chief.
During his visit to the headquarters of the newly raised Special Security Division (SSD), responsible for the security of CPEC projects, the army chief instructed the force to take all possible measures to make all CPEC related projects a success.
COAS was given a detailed briefing over raising of the force and the security threats faced by the CPEC project.
Gen Raheel Sharif reiterated the army’s commitment to provide security for CPEC and the work force involved in the projects, terming the plan a game changer for Pakistan and its people.
On arrival, COAS was received by Lieutenant General Malik Zafar Iqbal and Major General Abid Rafique, Commander SSD.
The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013, the CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking three billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe.
An official agreement on the corridor was signed between the two countries last year during President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Pakistan.
The project links China’s strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan’s focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programs.
It also involves road and railway construction including an upgrade of the 1,300-km Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountains.
The CPEC will reduce China’s routes of oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East by thousands of kilometers, making Gwadar a potentially vital link in China’s supply chain.
Pakistan has reason to believe that the Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), has established yet another desk with a special allocation of a huge sum of money to scuttle CPEC.
According to reports in the local media, RAW, created in the wake of the 1965 war between Pakistan and India, has been assigned the gigantic assignment to ruin the trade corridor project, the biggest operation after the creation of Bangladesh tasked to it immediately after its creation way back in September 1968.
Pakistan’s intelligence gathering agencies had collected authentic evidence and proof about the designs of RAW that has already initiated its work. RAW is known for sponsoring terror activities for attaining its objectives. It is engaged in promoting and aiding disruptive elements in Pakistan to destabilise the country.
The budget of RAW isn’t known to anyone but $300 million have been earmarked initially for subverting the economic corridor.