Chinese confidence in Pakistan’s security system shaken, says senior lawmaker

Three Chinese teachers were killed in an explosion at the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi on April 26

May 08, 2022 06:08 pm | Updated 06:08 pm IST - Islamabad:

Students carry out a peaceful protest to condemn the blast of a passenger van that killed four, including three Chinese nationals, outside the Confucius Institute at University of Karachi on April 29, 2022.

Students carry out a peaceful protest to condemn the blast of a passenger van that killed four, including three Chinese nationals, outside the Confucius Institute at University of Karachi on April 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Chinese confidence in Pakistan’s security system’s ability to protect its citizens and projects is seriously shaken after the Karachi University attack last month, a senior lawmaker has said.

Three Chinese teachers were killed when an explosion triggered by a burqa-clad suicide bomber from the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) ripped through a van of the Confucius Institute at the prestigious University of Karachi on April 26.

This was the latest targeted attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan.

Sharing the mood of the Chinese side after the attack to Dawn newspaper on Friday, Senator Mushahid Hussain, who is also the chairman of the Senate Defence Committee, said: “It has caused serious concern and understandable indignation in China." Mr. Hussain led a Senate delegation to the Chinese embassy last week to express his condolences over the loss of the Chinese lives in the university attack.

“The Chinese confidence in Pakistan’s security system’s ability to protect their citizens and their projects is seriously shaken,” said Mr. Hussain.

The Karachi University attack was the third terrorist attack on Chinese citizens on Pakistani soil in a year.

"The pattern of attacks is so recurring and it’s clear that Pakistani promises of ‘foolproof security' are mere words, not matched by countermeasures on the ground,” he maintained.

Criticising the security arrangements, he said security agencies seemed to have been caught napping.

“If such attacks continue, not just Chinese but other foreign investors will be forced to review their role in Pakistan,” he said.

There were reports on social media of Chinese workers leaving Pakistan in large numbers after the attack.

A Chinese source denied such reports, adding that it was a regular movement of Chinese workers and citizens living in Pakistan on a weekly flight from Karachi that was presented by some as an “exodus”.

The source, however, noted that terrorist attacks do impact the confidence of the Chinese community living here.

The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing said the tweet claiming that thousands of Chinese were leaving from the Karachi airport because of threats was a “baseless and panic-creating video tweet”.

Head of FIA Cyber Crime Sindh Imran Riaz told the newspaper that action would be taken against the person who tweeted it once the ongoing investigations were complete.

At a media conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lijian Zhao expressed hope that “the plot of terrorist forces to undermine the two countries’ mutual trust and cooperation will not succeed”.

He said the Chinese side would work with Pakistan to conduct a thorough investigation, reveal the truth, bring the perpetrators to justice, and explain to the people of both countries.

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