KARACHI: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday sat together with the head of the provincial top security agencies and Chinese diplomats to conduct security audit of the principal institutions in general and foreign nationals, especially Chinese, in particular.
Acting Chinese Ambassador Ms Pang Chunxue and Consul General Mr Li Bijian attended the meeting, held at CM House in the backdrop of the suicide attack on Chinese nationals at Karachi University (KU).
The interior minister, who had earlier held a one-to-one meeting with the chief minister, assured the Sindh government of full cooperation for security.
The meeting was given a detailed briefing. The Chinese diplomats were also apprised that the details of the Chinese nationals associated with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were available with the relevant agencies but details of other Chinese nationals were not.
China strongly condemns attack, seeks arrest of culprits
At a hurriedly called joint presser with CM Shah, Mr Sanaullah later said security of life and property of Chinese nationals would be ensured with effective measures, adding that China had always stood with Pakistan in difficult times. He said he had offered to enhance the security of the Chinese embassy, but the Chinese diplomats seemed to be satisfied with the arrangements.
“The security of those working with the CPEC will be ensured at all costs,” he declared.
Investigators did not rule out the involvement of a hostile foreign agency in the suicide bombing and believed sabotaging China-Pakistan relations was the motive for the attack, as a case was registered against the proscribed Baloch Liberation Army on murder and terrorism charges.
“Those who are fighting for people’s rights are not involved in terrorism,” he said referring to the coalition partners from Balochistan.
Responding to another question, he said people had rejected the narrative of former premier Imran Khan against the election commission and did not pay any heed to his calls that was also evident from the fact that out of the entire population of Punjab, only 2,345 people managed to come out for demonstrations.
Also, the federal minister along with the CM visited the home of the van driver, Khalid Nawaz, who died in the blast, in Gulshan-i-Maymar where he along with his wife and their seven children resided. They met the brothers of the late Nawaz, offered condolence and announced compensation of Rs2 million — Rs1 million each from the provincial and federal governments — for the legal heirs of the victim.
Meanwhile, China expressed its strong condemnation over the attack and extended deep condolences to the victims and sympathies to the injured and bereaved families, adds APP.
“The Chinese side expresses strong condemnation and indignation over this major terrorist attack and extends deep condolences to the victims and sympathies to the injured and bereaved families,” a spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The spokesperson said the Chinese foreign ministry and diplomatic missions in Pakistan had activated the emergency response mechanism immediately after the incident.
Meanwhile, BNP chief and MNA Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal condemned the suicide attack and said that “systematic violence against civilians could not be justified under any circumstances”.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2022