Pakistan deploys 15,000-strong force for Chinese security

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Islamabad: Pakistan has deployed a 15,000-strong military force to protect Chinese nationals working on energy and infrastructure projects in the country, the president said on Sunday, after the abduction of a Chinese couple raised safety concerns.

President Mamnoon Hussain told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Islamabad that the protection of Chinese citizens working in Pakistan was the “top priority” of the government, according to a statement issued by the presidency.

Beijing is investing around $50 billion in its South Asian neighbour as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 to link its far-western Xinjiang region to Gwadar port in Balochistan with a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades.But fears over safety arose last month when two Chinese workers were abducted in Quetta, the capital of the southwestern Balochistan province, which is at the heart of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project but racked by separatist and Islamist insurgencies.

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