India may target CPEC installations, interior ministry tells GB

GILGIT: The Ministry of Interior has informed the Gilgit-Baltistan’s home department that India has made a plan to attack the installations of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a bid to sabotage the multi-billion mega project.

The ministry has issued directives for making foolproof security arrange­­ments to avoid any untoward incident.

An official of the home department on condition of anonymity told media that the department had received a letter from the federal interior ministry recently in which it had warned of possible terrorist attacks on the CPEC route.

He said the letter No 221/Is2018 January 28 claimed that India had sent 400 Muslim youngsters to Afghanistan for receiving training to be able to carry out attacks on the CEPC installations, including bridges at Karakoram Highway (KKH) and other important points on the CPEC route.

After receiving the interior ministry’s directives, the GB government has enhanced security on the CPEC route, including two dozen bridges built on KKH from Khunjerab Pass to Diamer district.

GB Home Secretary Jawad Akram, Inspector General of Police Sabir Ahmed along with other police and intelligence officials visited Diamer district on Saturday to review security arrangements for bridges on the KKH.

Diamer SSP Muhammad Ajmal briefed the officials on security arrangements for the KKH bridges and other places on the CPEC route.

During the visit, the home secretary and the IGP also held a meeting with the SHOs of Diamer district in Chilas.

Speaking at the meeting, IGP Sabir Ahmed said that KKH bridges on CPEC route had been declared sensitive. He directed them to keep security officials on alert at all entry points to the district, keep an eye on suspected persons and ensure snap checking.

According to a press release issued by the central police office in Gilgit, a high-level meeting held in Gilgit with IGP Sabir Ahmed in the chair reviewed the security apparatus in the region.

The IGP told the meeting that CPEC was an important project for the people of the region. He said all resources should be utilised to ensure security of the CPEC project. He said that police would patrol the CPEC route regularly.

The IGP said the movements of foreigners in GB would be monitored and their documents would be verified. “Suspected persons in the region will be detained under the Fourth Schedule,” he said.

The meeting was attended by DIG headquarters Shoaib Khuram, DIGs of three ranges, AIG of CPO, AIG special branch, all districts police SSPs, and other officials.

Meanwhile, IGP Ahmed sent a letter to Gilgit, Diamer and Baltistan range DIGs, informing them that in the backdrop of prevailing law and order situation in the country and threats to the bridges on the KKH special preventive measures were required to be made.

The letter (No IGP(ops)-8(1)/GS/660-69), a copy which is available with media, said that police personnel deputed for the security of bridges at KKH needed to be put on high alert so that any subversive activity could be foiled. It said that local police officers should conduct combing operations, supervise checking at vulnerable points, hotels, guest houses in their areas of responsibility.

When contacted, Gilgit SSP Rana Mansoorul Haq said that the GB police in collaboration with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies were taking measures for providing foolproof security to the CPEC route.

In January last year, the GB police had claimed to have foiled a plan allegedly sponsored by Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to sabotage projects related to CPEC and generate anti-Pakistan feelings in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The GB police had arrested 12 workers of the Balawaristan National Front from Yasin Valley of Ghizer district and seized a large quantity of weapons during a raid. The police informed media that the arrested suspects had received funds from RAW and prepared a plan to sabotage the CPEC project and stir unrest in Gilgit-Baltistan.