New findings reveal security gaps in non-CPEC projects

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The government has found serious gaps in the security arrangements for businesses and residences owned by Chinese nationals after a review following the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.

Sources said the provincial intelligence centre had observed that security for Chinese diplomats and officials as well as offices, residences and business sites in Punjab needed to be reviewed on an urgent basis.

The exercise aimed to examine the available security arrangements made by the concerned authorities, find lapses and make improvements to the security arrangements for projects unrelated to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The intelligence agency’s field staff conducted a survey of the projects, checked and reported on various parameters and submitted a comprehensive report identifying flaws and suggestions.

The report indicated that security arrangements at projects, businesses, offices and residences were unsatisfactory, and gaps were observed in the security audit that needed to be addressed on a priority basis due to the existing security situation.

According to sources, Chinese workers and experts are working on 102 development projects across Punjab, including 41 in Lahore, 17 in Sheikhupura, 11 in the Rawalpindi division, eight in Gujranwala, eight in Sargodha, six in Faisalabad, four in Bahawalpur, three in Sahiwal, three in D.G. Khan and one in Multan.

In addition to the projects, there are Chinese nationals have 152 residences, 131 businesses and 101 offices in the province.

There are 130 residences in Lahore, 10 in Faisalabad, four in Sahiwal, four in Multan, three in Bahawalpur and one in Sheikhupura. There are 117 businesses in Lahore, seven in Gujranwala, six in Faisalabad and one in Multan, and 86 offices in Lahore, 14 in Faisalabad and one in Multan.

One of the security gaps detailed in the report was a lack of an 8ft boundary wall with 2ft of razor wire at 315 points in the province. One point in Rawalpindi also lacks a boundary wall with razor wire.

CCTV cameras were not installed at 102 out of 486 points, while search lights were lacking at 236 points and 413 did not have alarm systems.

There were 52 points that lacked police and private security, metal detectors were not found at 315 points, 406 lacked walk-through gates and 418 lacked a bottom-view mirror.

The audit also revealed that 445 points lacked pop-up barriers, 41 did not have communication systems between security personnel and 391 did not have watch towers.

There were no rehearsal of contingency plans at 437 points, and a police escort was not available during the movement of Chinese experts at 278 points.

The report suggested that officials deployed for the security of Chinese nationals should be briefed and placed on high alert.

All divisional police chiefs have been directed to visit all the projects operating in their respective jurisdictions and submit reports, following the findings of the security audit.

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