China allows two Pakistani officials in Wuhan as city remains in lockdown

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: China has accepted a “special request” by Pakistan to allow a two-member special task force from the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing to enter the virus-hit Wuhan city and meet Pakistani students in different universities to get an update on their well-being and safety.

According to a press release from the Foreign Office (FO), the task force, which will remain in coordination with Chinese authorities, will be permanently deployed in Wuhan and “will return to Beijing once the lockdown in Wuhan is lifted in its entirety and the on-ground situation is completely stabilised”, the statement added.

The two FO staffers visited Pakistani students in four universities and also met administrative staff in each university “to get first-hand information on the health and safety needs of the students”.

“In the coming days, the officers will visit students in three other universities as well as the administrative staff in those universities to ensure the welfare of Pakistani students in Wuhan,” the press release said.

It added that all Pakistani students in the universities that the officers have thus far visited were “safe, healthy, and well looked after”.

The FO statement said since the lockdown began in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, the embassy has maintained “a close liaison with Pakistani students and the Chinese government at various tiers to provide assistance to Pakistani students”.

“Under the supervision of Ambassador of Pakistan, an 11-member core group was constituted to daily monitor the evolving situation and respond to queries/requests of Pakistani students.”

The embassy has also set up two 24/7 hotlines for the facilitation of students in China, the press release said. C