CPEC security gets booster by NICC
by Yasir Habib Khan
CPEC’s security mechanism has been strengthened in the wake of officially functioning of the National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC).
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the inaugural session of the committee at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate, Defense Committee in upper house of parliament told Gwadar Pro that NICC is going to prove a booster for cementing security coordination on CPEC. Given NICC preview in which probably 15 to 20 civil and army intelligence agencies will be integrated to improve intelligence sharing on the whole, the CPEC security system is a major beneficiary, he added.
“It is a very positive step and it is expected that intelligence synchronization will improve the performance of all those security agencies especially Special Security Division (SSD), in beefing up safety for CPEC projects,” he added.
During the last couple of years, security expert Mr Rana Khalil said, Pakistan started to invest in its security apparatus and created several new armed units within the military and civilian police domains. “NICC dynamism will augur well for the entire security system in Pakistan as well as CPEC’s special security,” he added.
Special Security Division (SSD) for CPEC consists of regular armed forces and elements of the "Civil Armed Forces" (CAF), which is a federal paramilitary force within the Ministry of Interior.
Besides the Pakistan Army, the Pakistani Navy has also assembled forces for CPEC protection, such as the "Task Force-88" for the seaward security of the Gwadar port and protection of associated sea lanes against both traditional and non-traditional threats. The Navy also raised a Coastal Security and Harbour Defence Force to tackle security threats along the coast and stationed a Force Protection Battalion (FPB, consisting of Pakistan Marines) at Gwadar for the protection of Chinese companies and workers.
Furthermore, Pakistan implemented several measures to enhance its Maritime Domain Awareness, for example, through the establishment of a "Joint Maritime Information and Coordination Center" (JMICC) and "Coastal Watch Stations" (CWSs), as well as stepping up collaborative maritime security practices, not only with regional navies but especially with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Besides the aforementioned security measures focusing mainly on Gwadar and the larger maritime component of CPEC, the central authorities also boosted their police capacities to ensure law and order along the corridor.