China asks Pak to beef up security for its envoy amid threats

news
23 October 2017

China has asked Pakistan to step up security of its newly-appointed ambassador in Islamabad in the wake of threats to his life from a terrorist organisation.

The Chinese Embassy made the request in a letter written to the interior ministry on 19 October saying a member of the banned terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) has sneaked into Pakistan to assassinate its ambassador.

China is clearly concerned about the safety of its officials and others working on various projects in Pakistan.

The letter, circulated in the local media, is signed by the focal person for the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Ping Ying Fi, asking the interior ministry to "enhance the protection" for the ambassador and other Chinese working in the country.

This, the letter says, will not only help foil the designs of the terrorist but will also help in nabbing others involved in the plot.

China has appointed Yao Jing, who has served as Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan, as its new envoy to Pakistan. Yao replaced Sun Weidong, who served as China's Ambassador to Pakistan for three years and recently returned to his country.

In the letter, Ping shared details of the terrorist's passport and demanded his immediate arrest and handover to the Chinese embassy. It identified the terrorist as Abdul Wali.

The interior ministry and the Chinese embassy have declined to comment on the letter.

The ETIM largely operates from China's restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, bordering Pakistan.

Earlier this year too, China had emphasised on the need for security of Chinese citizens living in Pakistan after two Chinese nationals were kidnapped in restive Balochistan, allegedly by militants.

The Baloch nationalists have been critical of China helping Pakistan committing alleged atrocities and human rights violations in Balochistan.

These attacks have raised concern about security for the Pakistani section of China's One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The multi-billion dollar CPEC project, dubbed a "game-changer" for the region, will connect the Xinjiang region with Pakistan's deep sea port in Gwadar, through a rail and road network that will pass through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.





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