RAWALPINDI: There has been no progress in the search for the Chinese engineer who went missing on Wednesday.

The Chinese ambassador visited the Karot Power Project, where the missing man worked, on Thursday and stayed there for almost two hours.

He inquired about the missing engineer and the efforts made by Pakistani law enforcement agencies to find him.

The search for Pingzhi Liu began shortly after he went missing on Wednesday while working on a tunnel linked to a river for the Karot Power Project in Kahuta.

Divers were also involved in the search as the police thought he may have slipped into the river while working on the tunnel. Rescue dogs were also used in the search. It is suspected that the engineer may have been swept away by the water.

Seven Pakistani workers who were on night duty on Wednesday were taken into custody and are being investigated by the police. The police have also obtained the mobile phone data of the missing Chinese national and are questioning his colleagues.

Personnel from the Special Protection Unit (SPU), a specialised police unit established for the security of foreigners in 2014, had been deployed for the security of Chinese nationals working on the Karot Power Project, other than security officials.

A security audit of SPU personnel deployed at various development projects across Punjab is conducted from time to time and it was found they lack training for special protection and have weak discipline. More than 250 SPU personnel have been dismissed from services for misconduct and absence from duty so far.

The Punjab government had already warned the police that the security of Chinese nationals should not be compromised at any cost. The disappearance of the Chinese engineer has been concerning for security agencies, SPU and the police.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2017