Pakistan says formulating strategy for security of Chinese nationals after Gwadar attack

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is formulating a strategy to improve the security of Chinese nationals and companies operating in the country, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said in a meeting with China’s envoy on Sunday, days after a suicide attack on a motorcade carrying Chinese personnel in southwestern Balochistan province.

The Chinese diplomatic mission in Pakistan on Friday demanded “practical and effective measures” to ensure the safety of its nationals in the country and preclude the possibility of future militant attacks against them.

The attack at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway project injured one Chinese national and killed two local children. Responsibility as claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist group that has also launched similar attacks in the past.

Following the incident, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan demanded “practical and effective measures” to ensure the safety of its nationals in the country and prevent the possibility of future militant attacks against them.

Pakistan is “formulating a joint strategy to protect Chinese citizens,” Ahmed said, as quoted in a statement by the interior ministry after the meeting with Ambassador Nong Rong in Islamabad. “We will further improve the security of Chinese citizens and Chinese companies operating in Pakistan.”

The incident took place about a month after a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying workers to a dam construction site in northern Pakistan, killing 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals.

“Mutual cooperation and development of Pakistan and China will not be allowed to be held hostage by terrorists,” Ahmed said.

Beijing is investing over $65 billion in infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, under its wider Belt and Road initiative.