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Pakistan admits China is furious with Islamabad on CPEC security

Deteriorating security for CPEC in Pakistan has offended China (Photo: Twitter)

China is not happy with Pakistan regarding the recent attacks on its nationals working on various projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), says Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.

“It is very important to keep China on board because they are very sensitive. They say  “we have invested here but in return we don't want to get dead bodies. This is not done,” Rashid told the Pakistani channel Urdu News in an interview. The Pakistani minister confessed that  Chinese were angry with “us” after the Dasu attack last month, in which nine Chinese engineers were killed.

Rashid said that on Wednesday, he had briefed Nong Rong, the  Chinese envoy to Pakistan about the Dasu attack in which 13 people including 9 Chinese were killed. According to the minister, the envoy was “satisfied” and asked him to set an example by giving severe punishment to the accused.

“Now the Chinese told us they should be given historic punishment, “  said Sheikh Rashid.  

The Minister also informed the Chinese envoy that his government has decided that the  Pakistani  army would directly protect  131 Chinese projects in the country, which do not  directly fall under CPEC. 

“The security of Chinese workers is now the first priority. They feel safe under army security,” Rashid said. 

Last week, after yet another attack on a Chinese engineer working on the  project in Gwadar in Balochistan, China warned Pakistan that “the security situation in Pakistan has been severe” and had demanded that “security mechanism(s)” should be upgraded so that  “similar incidents do not happen again.” 

According to the Pakistani Interior Minister, the Pakistani army has been providing  its special forces for round the clock security to 40 Chinese companies and its staff, working on CPEC projects. Now the Chinese have been informed that security measures have further upgraded.

Violence targeting Chinese nationals has surged this year. Militants belonging to the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its allies  have declared a war on the Pakistani army and Chinese funded CPEC. These militant outfits accuse China of exploiting Balochistan’s mineral resources, and have previously attacked Chinese nationals and the Chinese consulate in Karachi.

Also Read: China knocks on Taliban’s door to stop attacks on its nationals

For instance, in April, the TTP attacked Serena hotel in Quetta where  Nong Rong, the Chinese ambassador,  was staying with his delegation. 

In tune with the attacks, the Chinese also realised that there are severe loopholes in Islamabad’s  efforts to safeguard Chinese citizens, and it is  willing to send missiles and special forces to counter the threats on its investments and its nationals in Pakistan.  China has also approached the Taliban leader Mullah Baradar for help. Last week on Thursday Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yi reminded  Baradar about Chinese “offers” if the Taliban made a clean break with all terrorist organizations including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), TTP which are major threats for Chinese investments. 

Also Read: Islamabad worried as more than 4,000 anti-Pak militants released by Taliban enter Pakistan