The government will establish 22 special wings of security forces, to provide security to foreign investors, especially to the oil and gas exploration and production companies. The Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior, while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum declared the total strength of these special wings to be 20,000 and tasked to provide security to the foreign investors in the country.

The lack of security is a problem that is costing us lucrative foreign deals. However, the solutions should have been to decrease the threats, rather than increasing the use of more guards for foreign bodies.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that those who are investing in Pakistan to contribute to its progress and prosperity “are our masters and the government is providing them all out facilities under one roof”. Though he said this to honour our moneyed guests, yet it is true, they are our masters- and like all VIPs, motorcades, commandos and a slew of resources will be given to them. We can only hope that this makes the investment climate safer, and inserts competition into the economy, so that we are not fleeced by just one investing partner that captures the whole markets, from construction to services to commodities.

The government says it is taking steps of protecting the future of economic development but these measures have great potential for becoming long-term problems. Foreign investors, businessmen and prominent dignitaries must be provided with the best security, so that they can fearlessly tour Pakistan, but 22 special wings seems too big a price to pay. Remember that this is all taxpayer money, and the invested foreign money will all probably make for private profits. Growth, by all means will take place, but it will not be inclusive or equal. But we have made our bed and we must sleep in it. There is no going back.