ISLAMABAD – China has reportedly asked Pakistan to step up the security of its newly-appointed ambassador in Islamabad in the wake of threats to his life from a terrorist organisation.
In a letter that was leaked to the media on Saturday, the Chinese Embassy has alleged that a member of the terrorist network East Turkestan Islamic Movement has “sneaked into Pakistan” and poses a threat to Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing.
The Interior Ministry and the Chinese Embassy have declined to comment on the letter, neither refuting nor verifying its authenticity.
In the letter, the Chinese Embassy has requested that Pakistan increase the security provided to Chinese companies and Chinese people in Pakistan.
China has appointed Mr. Jing, who has served as Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan, as its new envoy to Pakistan. Yao replaced Sun Weidong, who served as China’s Ambassador to Pakistan for three years and recently returned to his country.
The letter carries the letterhead of the Chinese Embassy and the signature of police officer, Peng Yunfei, the focal person for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In the letter, Ping shared details of the terrorist’s passport and demanded his immediate arrest and handover to the Chinese Embassy. It identified the terrorist as Abdul Wali.
The ETIM largely operates from China’s restive Xinjiang region, bordering Pakistan.
The CPEC will connect Xinjiang with Pakistan’s seaport Gwadar through a network of rail, road, and pipeline.
In June, the militant Islamic State group had claimed that it had killed two Chinese nationals who were abducted from Quetta in May. China has often urged Pakistan to improve security after pledging around $57 billion to build power plants, railways, and roads that will cross the Himalayas to connect western China with Gwadar port.
In July, two days after an incident of firing on Chinese nationals in Ghotki, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal had directed the police to ensure extraordinary security for Chinese and other foreign nationals working on CPEC projects.