BEIJING: China on Wednesday asked Pakistan to scale-up security for its nationals working in the country and demanded a thorough investigation and punishment to the perpetrators behind the suicide attack at the Karachi University which killed three Chinese teachers and injured another.
The blood of the Chinese cannot be shed in vain, and those behind this incident will surely pay the price, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said while strongly condemning the latest attack on Chinese nationals working in Pakistan.
An explosion triggered by a burqa-clad Baloch woman suicide bomber ripped through a shuttle passenger van of the Confucius Institute at the prestigious University of Karachi on Tuesday, leaving three Chinese teachers dead and one injured and causing several Pakistani casualties, in the latest targeted attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan’s financial capital.
China expressed its “strong condemnation and great indignation” at the attack, as well as deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the injured and the bereaved families, the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao has made an urgent phone call to the Pakistani Ambassador to China to express extremely grave concern, the report said.
Wu demanded that the Pakistani side should immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, apprehend and punish the perpetrators to the full extent of the law, and take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan and prevent such incidents from happening again, the spokesperson said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomatic missions in Pakistan will continue to urge relevant Pakistani departments to handle properly the follow-up matters of those killed, treat the injured, and resolutely crack down on the terrorist organisation involved, the spokesperson said.
Hours after the deadly blast, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid a visit to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to express his condolences and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) linked Majeed Brigade has claimed responsibility for the attack that took place near China-built Confucius Institute — a non-profit institute teaching Chinese language to local pupils — in Karachi University.
A spokesperson for the university said three of the victims were Chinese nationals. They were identified as Confucius Institute Director Huang Guiping, Ding Mupeng, Chen Sa and Khalid, the Pakistani driver.
The spokesperson added that two others — Chinese national Wang Yuqing and a Pakistani man Hamid — were injured in the blast.
Expressing its condolences to the victims and their families, the Chinese International Education Foundation, which is in charge of running the Confucius Institutes, in a statement on Tuesday strongly condemned the terror attack. It called on all Confucius Institutes to ensure the safety of staff amid current complicated international situations, the Global Times reported.
CCTV footage of the attack showed a burqa-clad woman standing outside the entrance of the Confucius Institute. The woman detonated herself just as the van neared the institute’s entrance.