Qureshi, Shehbaz say attack attempt to sabotage Pak-China relations

FM Qureshi said the terrorists wanted to create a hostage situation at the consulate


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that elements wanted to sabotage the Pak-China relations and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Qureshi and Sharif were speaking on the floor of the National Assembly following the foiled attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi in which two policemen were martyred and three terrorists killed.

The foreign minister said that elements wanted to sabotage Pak-China relations and CPEC. “This project [CPEC] is providing economic activity which is not bearable for many. They do not want peace and economic prosperity in Pakistan,” Qureshi said.

“I want to tell those elements that Pak-China friendship is strong and we have the will and capability to tackle their nefarious designs,” the foreign minister added.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also paid tribute to the two policemen who were martyred foiling the attack. He said the policemen lost their lives when they stopped one of the attackers who detonated his suicide jacket. According to the foreign minister, two other attackers were killed by snipers before they could enter the consular section.

“The terrorists wanted to create a hostage situation but their plan was foiled. There were about 21 Chinese staff members at the consulate and they are all safe and shifted to a safe location,” Qureshi told the National Assembly.

Earlier while speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had spoken to the Chinese consul general and the Chinese ambassador who had expressed satisfaction with the prompt response from the Pakistani security forces, he said.

‘Opponents cannot bear Pak-China friendship’

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and praised the swift response of the Sindh Police and Rangers.

He stressed that this attack showed how the country’s opponents could not bear Pak-China friendship.

Sharif emphasised that China was among the few countries who had supported Pakistan through difficult times.

“From Peshawar to Karachi no one has any doubts that China is the most trusted and time-tested friend of Pakistan along with Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” Sharif said.

Shehbaz Sharif added that no one had any doubt that CPEC would be beneficial not only for Pakistan but the entire region. While appreciating the foreign minister for statements over CPEC today, Sharif was critical of past statements from the government which he claimed made the project controversial.

The opposition leader said Pakistan needed to send a clear message to the countries enemies that if they look at us from an evil eye the entire nation would be united against them.