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February 13, 2018

‘Chinese man killed in DHA failed to get security clearance from federal govt’


February 13, 2018

The Chinese national who was killed in a drive-by shooting last week had applied for a work visa but had not received security clearance from the Pakistani government, The News investigation into his murder has revealed.

Chen Zhu, 40, was killed on February 5 when an unidentified man opened fire at his car near Zamzama Park, DHA. Another Chinese national, Ye Fan, was also in the car at the time of shooting but remained unhurt.

In a statement to the media following the shooting, South Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Azad Khan had said that evidence collected from crime scene and statements of eyewitnesses suggested Zhu and Fan left their office at Lalazar Drive near Beach Luxury Hotel at 1:30pm for China Town Restaurant in Clifton. After having lunch, the two drove to Neelum Colony, opposite Zamzama Park, to buy fruits and vegetables. That is where the lone assailant fired at them while they were sitting in the car.

Sources told The News that like many other Chinese nationals, Zhu had come to the country a few months ago on a visit visa, and had been working at a company, Cosco Shipping Lines. The source added that Zhu wanted to extend his stay in Pakistan so he applied for work visa, but he couldn’t get security clearance. According to the insider, Cosco Shipping invited Zhu to Pakistan on a three-month visit visa by completing all legal formalities, but when he applied for work visa, he was asked to get security clearance from the Pakistani government.

He claimed Zhu’s documents were sent to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) by the passport office, but he could not get security clearance due to unknown reasons. However, when The News contacted SSP South Javed Akbar Riaz, who was directed by the Sindh police chief to submit a report of the incident, to verify this information, he said he did not check up on the legality of Zhu’s stay in the country.

SSP Riaz claimed that since IGP AD Khowaja has appointed Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group (TTIG) In charge Raja Umer Khattab as the investigation officer, he did not have much information on any development in the said investigation.

The TTIG in charge, Khattab, also said he did not check if Zhu’s stay here was legal. He added nothing has so far become clear in the Zhu murder case, and he was strictly prohibited from sharing any development with media as that could tip off the perpetrators.

Abdul Khaliq Sheikh, the director of the Sindh Intelligence Bureau, told The News he did not have any information about Zhu being declined clearance. Talking about role of IB in security clearance of foreigners, Sheikh said the bureau only deals in cases it receives from MoI for on ground verification, but it does not do anything on its own for security clearance.

Sheikh added that since China is a friendly country and is collaborating with Pakistan on a large scale, its citizens are not as closely monitored as citizens of hostile or enemy countries are. He clarified that citizens of all countries, including China, must have a valid work permit to be employed in Pakistan, and no foreign citizen work here legally on a visit visa.

Sindh Foreigners Security Cell (FSC) SSP Zulfiqar Ali Talpur told The News that he also did not know that MoI had declined to issue security clearance to Zhu.

He said that FSC’s responsibility is just to provide security to foreigners; the cell does not check their documents. When The News contacted MoI Spokesperson Yasir Shakeel to verify the source’s information, he also failed to give a satisfactory answer even after the passing of four days of being approached.

The spokesman claimed that Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was abroad on an official visit and he tried to contact MoI Additional Secretary-II – the relevant office – but had not received an answer from them.

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