ISLAMABAD: China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Monday repeated his government’s demand for punishment for those involved in the attack on Chinese teachers at Karachi University and asked for enhancement of security for Chinese institutions and citizens in Pakistan.
Li Keqiang was speaking to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who had “requested” for the telephone conversation, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
It was PM Sharif’s first conversation with his Chinese counterpart since assuming office last month.
“China hopes that the Pakistani side will bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible, make every effort to deal with the follow-up matters of the casualties, comfort the bereaved families and the injured, and comprehensively strengthen security measures for Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan to ensure that similar tragedies will not recur,” Mr Li told PM Sharif.
Li Keqiang assured of strengthening security measures for all Chinese institutions, personnel
He said China was “shocked and outraged” by the April 26 Karachi attack in which four people, including three Chinese teachers, lost their lives.
It should be recalled that China’s foreign ministry had soon after the attack asked Pakistan to severely punish the perpetrators, protect Chinese citizens and prevent such incidents from happening again.
PM Sharif told Premier Li that Pakistan would do its utmost to probe the attack, arrest the perpetrators and punish them to the full extent of the law. He also promised to strengthen security measures for all Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan to prevent recurrence of attacks.
Beijing has pulled out Chinese teachers working at the Confucius Institutes in Pakistan after the Karachi attack. There are five Confucius Institutes and two Confucius Classrooms across Pakistan that work for promoting Chinese language and culture. About 30,000 students are studying Chinese language at these centers. Karachi attack renewed China’s security concerns.
China is worried that the Sindh government has been slow with the investigations. The matter was reportedly raised when Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, whose party rules Sindh, on May 11.
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022