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KU attack carried out using rights of Baloch as an excuse: Bilawal

Updated 14 May, 2022
<p>Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. He was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Chinese Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan Pang Chunxue. Photo via Twitter/<a rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" class="link--external" href="https://twitter.com/MediaCellPPP">@MediaCellPPP</a></p>

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. He was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Chinese Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan Pang Chunxue. Photo via Twitter/@MediaCellPPP

<p>Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. Photo via Twitter/<a rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" class="link--external" href="https://twitter.com/MediaCellPPP">@MediaCellPPP</a></p>

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. Photo via Twitter/@MediaCellPPP

<p>Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News</p>

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died in Karachi university blast, at the Foreign Office in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

Reiterating the country’s resolve to arrest the perpetrators of the Karachi university blast, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said that the attack on the Chinese nationals was carried out using the rights of Baloch as an “excuse”.

At least three Chinese nationals and a driver were killed in an explosion outside a Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi on April 26. CCTV footage showed a lone woman wrapped in a chaddor standing at the entrance of the Confucius Institute as the van carrying the Chinese nationals arrives after which the explosion occurs.

A banned militant outfit has released an image of a woman they say carried out the suicide attack at the Chinese institute in the varsity.

“We will not rest until we have arrested the perpetrators of the [Karachi university] attack,” he said at the memorial event for Chinese nationals, who died at the Karachi university, at the foreign affairs ministry in Islamabad.

Read more: Students return to KU to find campus entry tighter than airport security

The deceased were identified as Huang Guiping, the institute’s director, and two others, Ding Mufang from Henan and Chen Sai from Xinjiang, who reportedly taught the Chinese language at the institute.

The van driver, identified as Khalid, was also killed in the explosion.

“These [deceased Chinese nationals] were dedicated and loving teachers Mr Huang, Ms Ding, and Ms Chen pursuing the noble mission to educate our students in the Chinese language and building bridges between our two people. They come from China with different backgrounds and ages for a common cause and unflinching desire to serve the timeless friendship between the people of Pakistan and the people of China,” the country’s youngest foreign minister said while reading his speech.

“Their driver also laid down his life in the line of duty that day,” he added.

Bilawal, who is the son of late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, hailed the “passion and dedication” of the Karachi university blast deceased and prayed for them. The nation has been shocked and saddened, he said while describing the departed souls as a “terrible loss” for both the friendly countries.

Condemning the incident, he added the country would never forgive the enemies of both countries’ all-weather strategic cooperation and it would not allow anyone to harm the “iron-clad friendship”. The sacrifices would not go in vain, he said, adding: “We will cherish the sacrifices and honour that have enabled us to forge a community of shared future in the new era.”

Read more: US condemns Karachi university van blast, describes it ‘true affront to mankind’

The foreign minister vowed to do “whatever in the government’s capacity” in the country’s capacity to ensure the safety and maximum security of the Chinese in Pakistan. Describing them as guests, he said the country was determined to ensure their safety and comfort.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered a review of the National Action Plan in the wake of the suicide attack in Karachi. The National Action Plan was formulated in the wake of the Army Public School attack in 2014 during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure.

Offering condolences to the bereaved families, Bilawal said: “We will not rest until we have given exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of this heinous attack.” He reiterated that the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership is time-tested and timeless and Islamabad and Beijing would face the challenges together and come out of it even stronger.

Bilawal also sent a special message to the public. The bilateral friendship was not limited to the government but also to the people of both countries. He highlighted the role of former prime ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and former president Asif Ali Zardari in fostering ties with China.

Read more: ‘How did a suicide bomber enter campus and go unnoticed?’

“This terrorist activity has occurred in Pakistan, in Sindh’s capital Karachi and by making our Baloch brothers’ rights as an excuse,” Bilawal said, “I know that every Pakistani is proud of their hospitality. We are known for this internationally.”

He was of the view that not a single Pakistani – including Sindhi and Balochi – can tolerate such kind of terrorist activities against their guests. “In our history, our people have seen terrorism. But, in the last decade, we have seen our citizens have been subjected to terrorism by using religion.” Bilawal reiterated that the attack has been made by making Balochistan issues an excuse.

“I want to tell the Pakistani people that Ms Chen, who left China and came here to teach Pakistanis, was born in 1994 [and] my sister Aseefa was born in 1993. Ms Ding, who also came here to teach Pakistanis, was born in 1990 [and] my sister Bakhtawar was born 1990,” he said and highlighted the teachers’ efforts to come here and create livelihood opportunities for the locals by imparting language skills.

He described the varsity attack as an attack on Pakistan-China friendship, adding that it was the responsibility of every Pakistani to pursue this cause like their brethren were targeted. Collectively, the nation has to ensure that it cannot tolerate such terrorist activities and it ensured that the bereaved families got justice and make the “perpetrators an example”.

Bilawal expressed hope that the nation just like in the past would fight against such terrorists, defeat them, and show the world that the enemies of Pakistan and China would never be successful in their attempts to harm the bilateral ties.

He termed the memorial event an “honour” for the foreign office.