A heavy police presence, guarded convoys, new checkpoints and troop reinforcements have turned parts of the southern port city of Gwadar into a fortress, as Pakistan’s powerful military seeks to protect billions of dollars of Chinese investment.
Securing the planned $46 billion economic corridor of roads, railways and pipelines from northwest China to Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast is a huge challenge in a country where Islamist militants and separatist gunmen are a constant menace.
The armed forces and Interior Ministry have sent hundreds of extra soldiers and police to Gwadar, the southern hub of the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and more are on their way.
A senior security official in the town of around 100,000 people said a further 400-500 soldiers had been recruited as a temporary measure to protect Chinese nationals.
Keeping foreign workers and executives safe in Gwadar is relatively straightforward.
Gwadar skirts the tribal belt along the Afghan-Pakistan border where Islamist militant groups including the Pakistan Taliban and al Qaeda have long been based, and takes in Peshawar, scene of some of the worst insurgent atrocities of recent years.