Pakistan’s Army Chief General Raheel Sharif discussed the crucial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with top Chinese leaders in Beijing. He assured complete security to the USD 46 billion project that passes through Balochistan in Pakistan.
Gen Sharif is in China on a two-day official visit. On Monday, he met Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong, the highest military official of the People’s Liberation Army which is headed by President Xi Jinping.
The issue of CPEC was also raised during Sharif’s meeting the Chinese Premier. The General told Premier Li that Pakistan was willing to enhance bilateral economic and security ties and provide complete security to CPEC.
Gen Sharif and the Chinese officials discussed measures to improve military cooperation, exponentially enhance training exchanges, defence technology and intelligence sharing and security of the CPEC, Pakistan military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said.
Military-to-military relations have reinforced China-Pakistan ties, especially economic cooperation, said Premier Li while calling on both sides to strengthen high-level contact and deepen exchanges in various fields.
The economic corridor is not only a flagship project between the two sides, but also conducive to development and prosperity of the whole region, stressed Li.
Pakistan is readying a special force of 4,000 security personnel to protect Chinese nationals working at various projects in Punjab province, including the CPEC project.
Already over 17,000 personnel from the army and other security forces have been engaged to ensure complete security to Chinese nationals working across the country.
The ambitious 3,000-kilometre CPEC project was launched last year to link western China to southern Pakistan through a network of roads, railways and pipelines.
Gen Sharif’s visit to Beijing comes just a month after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited the country. Parrikar had held extensive talks with top Chinese leaders and military officials.
Of late, Pakistan had said that it will raise its concerns at the international level over India’s successful test of supersonic interceptor missile which according to Pakistan will “disturb the balance of power in the region.”
(With inputs from PTI)