QUETTA: Armed men kidnapped two Chinese nationals, including a woman, from Jinnah Town on Wednesday afternoon. The kidnappers also tried to take away another Chinese woman but she ran away.

A man present at the site attempted to resist the kidnapping but was shot by a kidnapper. He suffered a bullet wound in the leg and was admitted to a hospital.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri suspended two officers of Jinnah Town and Gwalmandi police stations after the incident.

Passer-by injured resisting kidnappers in Quetta

The kidnapped man and woman taught the Chinese language in a centre run by a Korean national.

According to sources, three people in a white car intercepted the three Chinese nationals when they were leaving the language centre and forced them into the vehicle at gunpoint.

Citing witness accounts and closed-circuit television camera footage, police said the kidnappers were waiting in the car parked on the roadside.

“We heard a gunshot when the kidnappers were leaving with the two Chinese nationals,” a witness said, adding that he saw an wounded man lying on the road.

The wounded man, Haji Muhammad Zahir, said he was going home when he saw some people forcing the woman and the man into the car.

“I asked them why they were forcing them into the car. They said they are from the CIA [Crime Investigation Agency of] police and when I asked them to show their identification cards, one of them opened fire on me,” he told reporters in the hospital.

A police officer said the kidnapped Chinese nationals lived on Patel Road in the heart of Quetta and went daily to Jinnah Town to teach at the centre.

“The language centre had been opened by a Korean national in a rented building,” he said.

Heavy contingents of the police and Frontier Corps cordoned off the entire Jinnah Town after the incident.

“We are investigating the incident,” Quetta Police Deputy Inspector General (Investigation) Aitzaz Goraya told Dawn, adding that evidence had been collected from the crime scene.

The security of foreigners, including Chinese nationals, working on various projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corri­dor and in other places was tightened with more personnel deployed for the purpose.

Police officials suspended

The chief minister immediately suspended the Jinnah Town deputy superintendent of police and station house officer of Gawalmandi for not providing security to the Chinese nationals in their areas. He sought a report about probe into the incident within 24 hours.

Nawab Zehri asked the provincial police chief to provide maximum security to all foreigners working in Balochistan and said all-out efforts should be made for the early recovery of the kidnapped Chinese nationals.

The Quetta police chief told Reuters the teachers did not work on the CPEC and they did not have security guards.

According to AFP, Chinese deputy chief of mission in Islamabad Lijian Zhao said his embassy was working for the release of the kidnapped couple.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2017