Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid claims no one will be allowed to place hurdles in ties between Islamabad and Beijing
A day after the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan urged Islamabad to ensure security for its citizens in the country, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday met Beijing’s envoy Nong Rong, and assured him that a joint civil-military strategy was being inked to protect Chinese citizens and companies in the country.
On Saturday, the Chinese Embassy had issued a statement urging Pakistan to conduct a thorough investigation into a suicide bombing in Gwadar, severely punish the perpetrators, and take practical steps to ensure such incidents do not occur again. “At the same time, relevant departments at all levels in Pakistan must take practical and effective measures to accelerate to implement strengthened whole-process security measures and upgraded security cooperation mechanism to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again,” it said.
The Gwadar bombing targeted a convoy carrying Chinese nationals, killing three children and injuring several others, including a Chinese national. While condemning the terrorist attack, the Chinese mission lauded the quick response of Pakistani authorities, noting that the wounded had been sent for treatment immediately.
The interior minister and the Chinese envoy discussed bilateral ties between their two countries, as well as the overall regional situation during their meeting. Ahmed claimed the region had become very “important” due to the evolving situation in Afghanistan, adding that long-lasting peace in Kabul was essential for regional and global peace.
He said Pakistan would continue to play its role in maintaining peace in Afghanistan, and achieving a stable government in the neighboring country, adding that Islamabad was fully assisting anyone wishing to leave Afghanistan.
Addressing the recent surge in terror attacks targeting Chinese nationals—prior to Gwadar, Chinese nationals were targeted in separate incidents in Dasu and Karachi—the minister said the government was working on measures to ensure foolproof security to Chinese citizens and companies functioning in Pakistan. “No one can become a hurdle in the relations and joint ventures between Pakistan and China,” he added.
According to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry, the Chinese envoy told the minister that several Chinese companies were working in Pakistan on multiple projects. He said Beijing was thankful to the interior ministry for the provision of facilities to its nationals working in the country.