Pakistan promises ‘foolproof security’ for Chinese workers
Rescue workers and onlookers gather around a wreck after a bus plunged into a ravine following an explosion, which killed 13 people including 9 Chinese workers, in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on July 14, 2021. (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
PAKISTAN on Sunday (8) assured China of providing “foolproof security” to Chinese nationals working at various projects in the country, including the $60 billion (£43b) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, amid increasing violence against them in recent weeks.
China’s ambassador Nong Rong met Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid in Rawalpindi and discussed the security provided to Chinese nationals in the country, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
Rashid said the CPEC project will not become a “victim of any external conspiracy”. No force can become an “obstacle in the relations between Pakistan and China,” the minister said.
A recent bus blast near the Dasu dam project site was also discussed during the meeting and the two sides decided to complete the investigation into the incident as soon as possible.
At least 13 people, including nine Chinese, were killed when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the site of the under-construction Dasu dam exploded on July 14. The bus fell into a deep ravine after the explosion in the Upper Kohistan district.
After the explosion, China rushed a 15-member team of experts amid confusing signals from Pakistan that it could be a gas blast. Islamabad later admitted it was a bomb blast stating that traces of explosive substances were found from the scene.
The Dasu bus blast had accentuated Beijing’s concerns as thousands of Chinese personnel work in installations and projects being built under the aegis of the CPEC.
Pakistan’s security agencies last month arrested two suspects in connection with the bus blast.
In another incident, unknown gunmen last month fired at a vehicle carrying two Chinese factory workers, injuring one of them in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi. China downplayed the incident as an “isolated case”.
Thousands of Chinese have been employed on various projects in Pakistan, including those being executed under the CPEC.