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SPU official to collect data of Chinese nationals at Islamabad, Lahore airports

SPU official to collect data of Chinese nationals at Islamabad, Lahore airports

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government plans to deploy an official of the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Punjab police at Islamabad and Lahore airports to collect data of Chinese and other foreigners visiting Punjab.

The SPU official will sit along with the officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at the airports.

According to sources, the Punjab home department has sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior and FIA seeking permission for the deployment of officer/official of the unit at the FIA’s desk initially at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport and Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore.

The SPU was formed in 2014 for the protection of foreigners working on different development projects across the Punjab.

The data would be shared with the home department, provincial foreigners’ security cell (PFSC) and district foreigners security cell (DFSC) for necessary action as per standard operating procedure for the security of foreigners, the sources said.

The step has been taken as the SPU has been facing difficulties in maintaining daily record of inflow and outflow of Chinese with necessary details.

The government has been taking security arrangements at different projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on top priority and periodically reviews the SPU performance.

In another related move, the divisional police chiefs across the province have been directed to visit every development project in their respective areas where Chinese experts are working and to review their security.

A senior police official told Dawn that all the foreigners were required to report to the district foreign security cell on their arrival and on their departure.

He said the police had been asking the Chinese nationals to abide by the SOPs of the Punjab home department regarding their security.

The provincial authorities have directed the DFSC to communicate about the arrival of the foreigners to the SHOs concerned for necessary liaison with the foreigners with regard to their safety and concerns, if they had any.

The foreigners, especially Chinese, working on development projects in Punjab had already been directed not to leave their workplace or residence without police escort.

The Special Branch has already been keeping record of all of the Chinese checking-in or checking-out at Islamabad and Lahore airports on daily basis in addition to carrying out survey of Chinese staying in different hotels and monitoring their activities.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017

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