China ready to cement security cooperation further with Pakistan: Zaidong

  • Ambassador urges Islamabad to take all measures to ensure protection of Chinese citizens
  • Hopes investigation into Besham attack to be sped up to find out truth, punish perpetrators

ISLAMABAD: In the backdrop of March 26 Besham suicide attack, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong on Sunday reiterated that his country stands ready to further strengthen counterterrorism and security cooperation with Pakistan.

“We should take the people’s security as ultimate goal, and effectively protect Chinese citizens in Pakistan. The people are the foundation of a country, and are also what the rule of a country is for,” the Chinese ambassador asserted in a statement issued here.

He said that the national security work is ultimately to protect the interests of the people and enable them to live and work in peace and happiness.

The statement comes in the aftermath of the tragic suicide attack in KP’s in Besham area on March 26, wherein six individuals, including five Chinese engineers, lost their lives.

During the attack, an explosive-laden vehicle detonated as a convoy, transporting Chinese engineers to the Dasu hydroelectric project site from Islamabad, passed by.

“President Xi Jinping emphasised that we must always put the people first, put the life first, and ensure the life and security of the people. A holistic approach to national security takes the people’s position as the fundamental position, and emphasises that national security is for the people and relies on the people, which clearly reflects President Xi Jinping’s deep feelings for the people,” he added.

Ambassador Zaidong said that Chinese citizens in Pakistan actively participate in Pakistan’s national construction and promote China-Pakistan friendly cooperation. “We should do everything possible to protect their safety and value their contributions.”

He said that it was heart-wrenching that in the recent terrorist attack on 26th March, five Chinese citizens were deprived of their young lives.

“We hope and believe that the Pakistani side will speed up the investigation of the incident, find out the truth, severely punish the perpetrators, raise counterterrorism efforts, resolutely crack down on and root out the evil, and take all measures to protect the safety and security of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects in Pakistan, and create favourable conditions for advancing China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperation and building a China-Pakistan community with a shared future,” he added.

The Chinese ambassador said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as an important signature project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, has effectively promoted Pakistan’s economic and social development since its launching 10 years ago, by bringing in 25.4 billion dollars of direct investment, 236 thousand jobs, 510 KM expressway, more than 8,000 megawatt of power and 886 KM core power transmission grid.

“It is now entering the new phase of building a corridor of growth, livelihood, innovation, greenness and openness. The 26th March terrorist attack showed once again that a secure and stable environment is critical to the practical cooperation between China and Pakistan and the building of CPEC,” he added.

He said that China stands ready to work hand-in-hand with Pakistan to defeat the evil attempt at disrupting the cooperation between the two countries, to safeguard development with security to promote security with development, and to advance high-quality CPEC cooperation.

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