Web Desk — Armed men pretending to be policemen kidnapped two Chinese language teachers in Quetta on Wednesday, provincial officials said, a rare attack on Chinese nationals that is likely to worry Beijing.
China has pledged to invest $57 billion in Pakistani road, rail and power infrastructure in a flagship project of its vast Belt and Road initiative for a network of modern-day “Silk Road” routes connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.
China’s ambassador to Pakistan and other officials have often urged Islamabad to improve security, especially in the province of Baluchistan, where China is building a new port and funding roads to link its western regions with the Arabian Sea.
China’s embassy in Islamabad confirmed two of its nationals had been kidnapped.
Anwar ul Haq Kakar, a Baluchistan government spokesman, said men pretending to be police officers kidnapped the Chinese teachers and wounded a passerby who tried to stop them.
“A Chinese couple has been kidnapped,” Kakar told Reuters, adding that officials had earlier mistaken the wounded passerby for a security guard.
“(The passerby) inquired why they were doing this and they said they were from a law enforcement agency, but when he asked for their identification cards, they shot him,” added Kakar.
No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but in the past Islamist militant groups have kidnapped foreigners in Pakistan to seek ransom or drum up publicity for their cause.
China’s embassy in Islamabad confirmed two of its nationals had been kidnapped, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said.