At least 10 Chinese workers were killed last year in an attack on a bus in the northern city of Dasu

New Delhi is closely monitoring Beijing’s moves and, if needed, Indian diplomats will officially register a protest with Pakistan and China over any such plan.

New Delhi: The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) plan to deploy its own security personnel to guard its citizens and assets in Pakistan has alerted India, with New Delhi closely monitoring the development to take timely diplomatic action to prevent any such move by Beijing. “If required, India will spare no effort to register its protest officially with Pakistan and China,” highly-placed diplomatic sources told The Sunday Guardian. Sources said that China has already made a formal request seeking to deploy its own security company to guard its citizens and various projects as well as assets in Pakistan. “The reason Beijing has cited for this plan is recent attacks against its citizens and projects in Pakistan,” sources added.

China is sending huge funds to Pakistan under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but the project’s safety is of paramount concern for the Chinese government, given recent terror attacks against Beijing’s interests there. Top diplomatic sources told this newspaper that China’s senior diplomat Yang Jiechi, who is known to be the country’s top trouble shooter, discussed this issue with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari Bhutto in Islamabad. “Indian diplomats were closely following the development,” sources said. “China’s plan to deploy its security company guards in Pakistan also figured during the talks in Islamabad,” sources said, adding, “The indications are that Pakistan has not yet given its go-ahead for the Chinese plan, but Beijing is continuously stepping up pressure on Islamabad which is already in the grip of China due to heavy debts.” “Beijing will continue pushing for this and Pakistan will finally relent,” an official said.

The Chinese Ministry of State Security recently asked Pakistan to allow a Chinese security company to deploy guards there. The proposal is said to be under consideration in the Interior Ministry in Islamabad. What pressed the alarm button in China is that 10 Chinese people were killed last year in an attack on a bus in the northern city of Dasu. This year’s attack on Chinese instructors at the Confucius Institute in Karachi prompted China to try and finalise the plan to deploy its guards. “For this it is mounting pressure on Pakistan,” sources said.

Diplomats in India believe that if it happens, then it will be a kind of “China’s Pakistani outpost”.

In fact, Beijing wants to expand its strategic role in Pakistan and it will do so under the pretext of giving security to its citizens and projects there, they said. Experts of foreign affairs said that it will be a direct security threat to India if Chinese company personnel are deployed. “On the pretext of protecting BRI interests, China has been implementing its dirty agenda of increasing its foothold in various countries and Pakistan is one of them, ‘’ an official said. Sources informed that diplomats and officials of Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs and other security establishment experts are closely following the developments. The global community is also expected to take a view of the same so that there is a collective effort to pre-empt any such Chinese plan, sources said. “US has already taken every single update on this development, as its diplomats in Islamabad have even formally sought inputs from their Pakistani counterparts,” sources added. Pakistan has given information that it has denied entertaining China’s request on guard deployments, sources said.