LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has assured SINO Hydro, a Chinese company, which is constructing the Gomal Zam Dam, that foolproof security arrangements have been made for its technical staff.

Tariq Hamid, the WAPDA chairman, announce this during a visit to the dam where he was accompanied by Zhang Yunli, the Sino Hydro vice president, and Liang Jun, the vice project manager. Sources said the Pakistani government decided to deploy the Army’s Frontier Corps to Gomal Zam Dam to protect Chinese engineers and technicians and the WAPDA chairman informed the Sino-Hydro Corporation about the decision in a letter, mapping out the security arrangements in and around the project site.

To start with, the Frontier Corps will move a wing of 300 men to the Gomal Zal Dam site, sources quoted the chairman’s letter to the Chinese company as mentioning and that the government had decided to deploy five to 10 more platoons to the site.

They said six of the 10 Frontier Constabulary platoons would be commanded by Frontier Corps itself and the four remaining would work under police authority. They said the killing of a Chinese engineer was an acid test for Pak-China bilateral relations, one that had been passed after Chinese President Hu Jintao publicly declared that the incident would not affect ties with Pakistan.

The Chinese experts expressed satisfaction over the security measures. The federal Government is assisting WAPDA to tighten security for the foreign staff.

Mr Hamid said the sole purpose behind his visit was to give Chinese a sense of security so that they could return and resume work on the project as early as possible. He said that he hoped that Chinese repercussions regarding security weaknesses would be removed and they would complete the project peacefully.

The Pakistani government has already compensated US $ 1,50,000 to the families of two Chinese engineers, one of whom was killed and the other injured.

Speaking to Daily Times, the WAPDAfs member power, Anwar Ahmad Khan said the Chashma power project was one of those completed with the help of China and work on Chashma-2 had begun. Chinese engineers are also helping in the construction of the Gomal dam, Gwadar Port, Saindak copper and gold project, and Thar coal project.

Liaqat Ali Jatoi, the Water and Power federal minister, met the Chinese ambassador in Islamabad and Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao is likely to call on the ambassador in the near future to discuss matters of bilateral interest.

Source: Daily Times