Safety of Chinese nationals assured

-Interior Minister says a joint strategy for the protection of the Chinese citizens underway  -Adds Pakistan-China ties won’t be held hostage by terrorists
-Chinese Envoy meets Sheikh Rashid

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and diplomatic staff called on Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid and discussed the overall regional situation, besides bilateral ties, on Sunday.
Speaking of security for Chinese nationals in wake of the recent incidents, Rashid said, “We will further improve security for the Chinese citizens and [staff of] Chinese companies operating in Pakistan.”
“We are devising a joint strategy for the protection of the Chinese citizens,” he added.
During the discussion, Rashid observed that Pakistan will not let bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and China and progress become hostage at the hands of terrorists.
The minister observed that the region had gained more specific significance than before. He emphasized that lasting stability in Afghanistan was imperative for the region’s progress and the world’s security.
The minister further stated that Pakistan will continue to play its role for peace and a stable government in the neighbouring country.
The interior ministry, he maintained, has been providing full assistance to those evacuating Afghanistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Nong Rong observed that the Chinese companies were working on various projects in Pakistan.
He asked for making the security protocols for the citizens and the companies more stringent.
Days earlier, the Chinese embassy strongly condemned Friday’s suicide attack on a motorcade of Chinese personnel in the port city of Gwadar and demanded of the Pakistani authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and “severely punish the perpetrators”.
The embassy statement urged the authorities at all levels to take effective measures to strengthen the security of the Chinese citizens in Pakistan and upgrade security cooperation mechanism to prevent a repeated occurrence of such incidents.
On Friday, a suicide bomber targeted a motorcade carrying Chinese personnel at the Gwadar East Bay Expressway project in Balochistan, killing two local children and injuring several others. At least one Chinese national was among the injured, the embassy said.
A month ago, on July 21, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that nothing can sabotage the time-tested friendship between Pakistan and China.
Rasheed was speaking to the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong as the latter visited him at his residence to discuss matters of mutual interest between the two countries. The ambassador had appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to ward off conspiracies aimed at damaging the diplomatic relations between the two states.