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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal directed the Ministry of Interior to regularly convene its meetings on a monthly basis to review and ensure security on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The minister emphasized the need for building a safe and secure environment for the CPEC and to effectively tackle kinetic/ non-kinetic challenges.

The minister gave the direction while chairing a meeting to review the security progress on the CPEC projects. The meeting was attended by the secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the secretary Ministry of Interior, the secretary Ministry of Information, and other relevant stakeholders.

He also expressed concern that Pakistan’s side of the CPEC’s Joint Working Group on Security has not been meeting frequently.

He directed the Ministry of Interior to regularly convene its meetings on a monthly basis. As without a coordinated effort there can be gaps which must be filled, he added.

He said that also directed all line ministries to ensure that laid down security protocols are followed by Chinese working on the CPEC.

Ahsan tells China: Progress in CPEC expedited by new govt

The minister stated that propaganda against the CPEC is an attempt to deny people of less-developed regions in Pakistan positive socio-economic externalizes that will stem from the CPEC.

It is noted that after the recent incident in Karachi, the government had decided to ensure foolproof security of Chinese working across the country.

The minister also directed the secretary Ministry of Information to engage local regional media so youths of Balochistan could be engaged.

Iqbal stated that the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) should function as per the laid down role and objectives to provide the government with an in-depth assessment of security challenges that are grounded in the socioeconomics of the country. It will help the government to expand its security lens by addressing socioeconomic grievances of the people that may, if left unaddressed translate into security challenges.

“CPEC is a flagship project of Pakistan and China economic cooperation which can enable Pakistan to become an industrial economy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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