CHINA-PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR - Security Threats & Solutions: A Strategy

2017-05-09, by Naveed Elahi, from Pakistan-China Institute

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a unique strategic project that promises prosperity in Pakistan and has ushered in a new era of proximity with China.
But it is faced with a host of security threats that have the potential to jeopardise it before it takes off or midway. The terrorists would like to hit the state where it hurts the most. Hostile countries, perceiving the CPEC as a threat to their interests and influence, both military and economic, pose a threat to the CPEC. China and Pakistan understand the situation very well and seem determined to leave no stone unturned to provide it protection from all kind of threats. Many measures are already in place for this purpose. However it is strongly felt that a comprehensive plan and proper strategy is needed to ensure perpetual protection to the CPEC. This paper offers a four-pronged strategy, which plugs threats from all four corners to ensure complete security to the Corridor.

Executive Summary:

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a unique strategic project that promises prosperity in Pakistan and has ushered in a new era of proximity with China.

But it is faced with a host of security threats that have the potential to jeopardise it before it takes off or midway. The terrorists would like to hit the state where it hurts the most. Hostile countries, perceiving the CPEC as a threat to their interests and influence, both military and economic, pose a threat to the CPEC.

Ever since 2004 there have been incidents of terrorist attacks on Chinese nationals working in Pakistan. Most terrorist incidents related to Chinese workers took place in some volatile parts of north-western Pakistan and Balochistan, areas that were plagued by insurgency. China and Pakistan understand the situation very well and seem determined to leave no stone unturned to provide it protection from all kind of threats. And it’s fortunately that the government of Pakistan, the political parties and the military are all on one page with regards to the CPEC and have not only frequently expressed their strong desire to see this project bloom, but have taken solid measures in this regard.

 Many measures are already in place for this purpose. However it is strongly felt that a comprehensive plan and proper strategy is needed to ensure perpetual protection to the CPEC. This paper offers a four-pronged strategy, which plugs threats from all four corners to ensure complete security to the Corridor.

In the article, the author introduces the background that there are an number of eternal and external factors posing threats to CPEC, for example, TTP militancy in Khyber Pukhtunkhawa (KP) and the tribal areas is a threat whereas externally, hostile foreign agencies like the Indian Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) have plans to sabotage CPEC. In response to the security threats, China and Pakistan have taken many actions. In addition to Special Branch Punjab Police established a Chinese Security Cell in 2010which inspects the security arrangements at all projects and residences of Chinese citizens living in Pakistan , a four-pronged security strategy has been devised which aims at providing a comprehensive protective cover to CPEC.

Naveed Elahi is Honorary Director of Centre for Peace and Security Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore. He holds a Masters degree in Intelligence and International Security from the King’s College London.

This paper has been granted authorization to use and reproduce by Pakistan-China Institute. For academic purposes only.

Copyright © 2015 by Pakistan-China Institute and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Pakistan. All rights reserved.