Chinese couple kidnapped in southwestern Pakistan

 25 May 2017 - 11:00

Chinese couple kidnapped in southwestern Pakistan
File Photo.

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KARACHI, Pakistan: A Chinese couple has been kidnapped in the capital of Pakistan’s southwestern province on Tuesday, police said.

Aitizaz Ahmed Goraya, head of counter-terrorism cell in Balochistan province, told reporters that four gunmen masquerading as policemen intercepted the car of the Chinese nationals at posh Jinnah town in Quetta.

The gunmen shot and injured their local colleague, bundled the couple into their vehicle and sped away, Goraya said.

He said the abductees were teachers at a Chinese language center. 

A large number of Pakistani youth, currently, are learning Chinese language hoping to get employment in multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects.

The much-publicized project agreed in 2014 aims to connect China's strategically-important northwestern Xinxiang province to Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

The economic corridor will not only provide China with cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East markets but will also benefit Pakistan which would receive billions of dollars for providing transit facilities to the world’s second-largest economy.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the abduction but outlawed Baloch separatist groups have been active in the region and involved in armed attacks on Chinese engineers and workers in the province in the recent park.

The separatist groups, which oppose the $51 billion CPEC project, have been fighting for "liberation" of mineral-rich province, which according to them, had forcibly incorporated into Pakistan in 1947 following the end of British colonial rule in united India.