Press Trust of india

Pak assures China of foolproof security to Chinese workers

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Sunday assured China to provide foolproof security to Chinese nationals working at various projects in the country, including the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, amid increasing violence against them in recent weeks.

China’s Ambassador Nong Rong met with Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid in Rawalpindi and discussed the security provided to Chinese nationals in the country, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Rashid told Nong that Pakistan will take measures to ensure foolproof security to Chinese nationals working in the country, the paper said.

He 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.

During the meeting, they also discussed issues of mutual interest, including the bilateral ties, the paper said.

The Dasu bus blast also came under discussion during the meeting and the two sides decided to complete the investigation into the blast 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 had 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 substance were found from the scene.

The Dasu bus blast had accentuated Beijing’s concerns as thousands of Chinese personnel worked 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 Dasu 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.

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