Following the blast in which Chinese were killed, the Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hamid have landed in China
It couldn't have gotten more embarrassing for Pakistan’s Imran Khan government and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who claim that Pakistan is a “sovereign” country and China is an “all weather friend.”
After receiving the summons from “Iron brother”, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hamid both landed in China late Friday night. According to sources, Chinese wanted to meet Pakistani army chief but Bajwa decided to send his “close” ISI chief to pacify Beijing.
According to Chinese media, the meeting is taking place in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province.
The Chinese foreign office said that Foreign Minister Wang Yi would review the state of bilateral ties during the meeting with the Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi. The ISI chief will try to assure that Pakistani army will provide more security to the Chinese nationals and projects along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship of President Xi Jinping’s ultra-ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China has made it clear to Pakistan that getting to the bottom of the incident is the priority and decided to abruptly postpone a long-awaited meeting with Islamabad on July 16 to review progress on CPEC projects and related problems facing Chinese companies in Pakistan.
"The JCC-10 meeting on CPEC, which was scheduled to be held on July 16, 2021, has been postponed to a later date after Eid," justified Asim Saleem Bajwa, chairman of the CPEC Authority.
The wide-ranging talks, according to the Chinese Foreign Office, would cover “cooperation” in the high-quality development under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), defence and security cooperation, and counterterrorism. According to the Chinese media affiliate, Wang had cautioned Pakistan that lessons should be learned from the incident, and security measures for China-Pakistan cooperation projects should be further strengthened to ensure the safety and smooth operation of all projects.
After the attack on its nationals working on Dasu projects in which 13 personnel were killed including nine Chinese engineers, China has been mounting pressure on Pakistan to find the culprits. In fact, after the July 14 attack, when Qureshi, playing down the incident, told China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in Dushanbe that it was a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas. Wang Yi reprimanded Qureshi publicly that it was a terror attack.
Furious China also sent its own investigation team to the site to dig first hand evidence, not depending on Pakistani agencies alone. “The perpetrators must be severely punished,” Wang had warned Qureshi.
Pakistani Army Chief General Bajwa told the Chinese ambassador that China is Pakistan's most important friend and most reliable partner and that China's loss is Pakistan's loss. He promised that his army will spare no effort in treating the wounded, thoroughly investigate the incident and share the progress of the investigation with Beijing as soon as possible, and will do its best to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel in Pakistan. But so far Pakistani agencies have not been able to get anywhere to apprehend the perpetrators.