KARACHI: A Chinese national, working for a local shipping firm in a senior position, was gunned down in what police described as a targeted attack carried out by an unidentified lone assailant on Monday.
Another Chinese man with the victim at the time of the attack remained unhurt while a passer-by was injured, according to officials.
Officials emphasised that the firm was not part of any CPEC-related project as it had been working in Pakistan since the early 1990s.
Karachi’s South-Zone DIG Azad Khan told Dawn that the two Chinese nationals worked for Cosco Shipping the office of which was located in the city’s Lalazar area near Beach Luxury Hotel. They lived in the same locality.
The officials said the two Chinese nationals — 45-year-old Chen Zhu and Ye Fan — after having lunch at a restaurant in Clifton were returning to their office when at around 2.15pm they stopped their car near Zamzama Park in Neelam Colony to purchase some vegetables from a vendor. After the purchase, one of them had sat in the car and the other was still outside it when an attacker came in a vehicle and opened fire on the Chinese national sitting on the driving seat.
The officials said as soon as the attacker opened fire the other Chinese national — a young trainee of the company — started running to save his life. The attacker fired shots also at him but he remained unhurt. The passer-by, 22-year-old Hassan Ali, sustained a bullet wound in the right leg.
They said after firing gunshots the attacker fled.
The deceased sustained two bullets in the head. He was rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where he died, said Clifton police station SHO Chaudhry Shahid.
Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the JPMC, said that soon after the injured Chinese national was brought to the hospital he was put on the ventilator, but he died shortly.
According to a police spokesperson, Sindh police chief A.D. Khowaja has directed Raja Umar Khattab of the police’s counterterrorism department to investigate the incident.
Mr Khattab told Dawn later that the initial investigation had revealed that the attacker, clad in trousers and shirt, was alone and he was himself driving the vehicle.
He said the forensic analysis of spent bullet casings found at the crime scene showed that the weapon had not been used in any previous attack.
Mr Khattab said surveillance cameras installed in the vicinity were out of order.
DIG Azad Khan told a press conference that the firm, Cosco Shipping Lines Pak (Pvt) Ltd, had no connection with the CPEC project. It had been working in Pakistan since the early 1990s, he added.
He said the Chinese nationals were provided with three personnel from the police’s foreigners’ security cell, namely head constables Noor Zaib and Imtiaz Gul, and constable Majid Khan, for their security. On Monday, they did not take with them the head constable on duty, Noor Zaib, which is against the security standard operating procedures and instructions issued to them from time to time, he added.
Mr Khattab, however, told Dawn that the head constable had performed duty on Sunday because a delegation had arrived. Therefore, the Chinese nationals had allowed him to take a day off on Monday.
DIG Khan said it appeared to be a case of targeted killing.
The Clifton SHO said the deceased was the company’s managing director and he had been working there for the past two years.
Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal directed the police to take steps for the arrest of people involved in the incident.
Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2018