ISLAMABAD: Two Chinese nationals abducted from Balochistan last month were preachers who abused the visa system, the interior ministry said on Monday.
The ministry identified the two as Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26. It said the two had entered Pakistan on business visas. But instead of doing business, they had gone to Quetta, where they pretended to learn the Urdu language from a Korean business owner but “were actually engaged in “preaching”.
The ministry did not say what kind of preachers they were.
The two were abducted by armed men pretending to be police personnel on May 24 in Quetta.
Last week, Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said its members had killed but officials have not confirmed if the two are dead. No bodies have been found but China said information provided by Pakistan suggested the two were probably dead.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar directed the ministry to review, regulate and streamline the process of issuance of visas to Chinese nationals following the killing.
He was chairing a meeting to review issuance of visas to the Chinese and the progress on the registration of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) under the new policy.
According to the minister, there is a need to review the process of issuance of visas to the Chinese nationals coming to Pakistan for various projects and simultaneously to maintain a data-bank of them present in various parts of the country.
On the security of Chinese nationals present inside the country, Nisar observed that ensuring the security of foreign nationals was a shared responsibility.
Where the government makes every effort to provide security to foreigners, he said, they are equally bound to abide by the terms and conditions of their visas. Foreigners should also inform local authorities about their movement and activities keeping in view the security requirements, if any, he added.
The minister lamented that a misuse of the terms of business visa contributed to the unfortunate incident of abduction and subsequent murder of two innocent Chinese nationals. He directed the secretary interior to investigate the matter and ensure that such misuse does not occur in future.
China has pledged to invest $57 billion in Pakistan in projects linked to its “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan aimed at linking China with the Middle East and Europe.
Streamlining visa process
The minister observed there is a need to regulate the process of granting of visa extensions to ensure the facility is not misused.
Taking serious note of the laxity often shown by Pakistani missions abroad relating to business visas to foreigners, the minister said they are bound to undertake proper scrutiny of application forms and get all necessary details.
He directed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be taken on board and their input be included while formulating new visa policy guidelines for issuance of visas to the foreigners on categories.
Registration of INGOs
The meeting also reviewed the progress in the registration of INGOs under the new policy framework devised by the ministry. It was informed that so far, 66 INGOs have been formally registered with the ministry.
Nisar directed the ministry to expedite process of obtaining required information from the INGOs who were yet to furnish complete information so a decision could be taken about their registration.
He directed that the process of granting formal registration to INGOs should be completed by the end of July.
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