Proposal to monitor CPEC projects by Drones under consideration

ISLAMABAD: A proposal is under consideration to deploy armed drones on 3,000-kilometre-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) comprising a network of roads, railways and gas pipelines to act not only as eyes and ears of the security apparatus but also as the quickest means of offensive response to any terror threat, the sources told The News here on Saturday.

“Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has discussed the proposal of deploying armed drones on the routes of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and if it is approved all the drones for this purpose would be manufactured in Pakistan,” the sources said.

The intelligence reports pointed out that there are potential terror threats especially to the Chinese workers doing work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project from various terror outfits including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Balochistan Liberation Army, Balochistan Liberation Front and Daesh. According to the data shared by an official of the Planning and Development Division, about 8,000 Chinese workers are presently working on 210 projects in Pakistan while 7,000 additional workers are expected for executing multi-billion projects along the proposed routes.

The data provided by the Planning and Development Division to the NA Standing Committee showed that a Special Security Division (SSD) consisting of 9 Army battalions comprising 8,000 soldiers, 500 SSG commandos and 6 wings of paramilitary forces has already been entrusted with the task to provide fool-proof security to those working on the CPEC project.

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