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Pakistan authorities to seal off Gwadar port in Balochistan to protect Chinese firms
Gwadar Port

Pakistan authorities to seal off Gwadar port in Balochistan to protect Chinese firms

| @indiablooms | 29 Dec 2020, 08:32 pm

Beijing: Pakistani authorities are planning to fence off the entire 24-square-kilometer area surrounding the Gwadar seaport, which is located in Balochistan, to secure what they call the “crown jewel” of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), media reports said.

Information gathered from different sources revealed that the Pakistan Army, in collaboration with the Makran Administration, Gwadar Development Authority, Gwadar Port Authority and the Balochistan government, would carry out the project under the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, reports Asia Times.

Work on erecting barbed-wire fencing around Gwadar’s sensitive parts, which is planned to be complete in phases, has already started, reports the news portal.

Authorities are planning to 15,000 acres of land secured with iron barriers in the first phase of the project.

Government sources revealed to Asia Times that the “Gwadar safe city” would be equipped with more than 500 high-definition surveillance cameras to keep a close watch on “suspicious activities” or unauthorized or forceful intrusions into the city.

Some lawmakers believe that China could introduce a “permit system” to monitor or regulate entry and exit from the walled city for security purposes.

The CPEC Authority, a joint institution of Pakistani and Chinese governments to oversee CPEC projects, has commenced building a fenced wall around the Gwadar city in the country, triggering discontent among people of Balochistan, media reports said.

A wall measuring 10 feet in height is going to cover the length of 30 km, reports Zee News.

Human rights defenders argue that besides maintaining secrecy around the projects, one major objective to fence Gwadar is to control entry and exit of individuals entering and exiting the port city as one of the major constituents of the fencing plan is to construct two entry points to the city, reports the Indian news channel.

Activists fear that the entry-exit control mechanism is being developed to prevent the entry of human rights activists and media from entering into the city and reporting on the severe human rights violations by the Pak Army in the region, Zee News reported.

“The CPEC Authority also plans to install 500 HD cameras for monitoring activities and movement of individuals, further turning the city into a surveillance state. It is prerogative to mention that more than 15,000 soldiers from the Special Security Division, consisting of Pakistani (9,000) as well as Chinese soldiers (6,000), are already guarding the projects and providing security to the Chinese workers.” as per exclusive details accessed by Zee News.

Security experts told the Indian news channel that since the PLA is working at a war scale to establish a military base in Gwadar and use the Gwadar port and the Gwadar International Airport for its warships and fighter jets, the fencing is an indication that the military base is soon going to be operational – a development that China and Pakistan would like to cover from the world. Locals of Balochistan have spoken about the presence of a significant number of soldiers from PLA Navy-Marine Corps in the Gwadar port.

The experts even believe that Chinese soldiers are ready to be deployed at the port and all along the fenced region.

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