Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao over phone Thursday night that Pakistan condemns terrorism in whatever forms and vows to take practical measures to ensure safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan.
Pakistani forces launched an operation Thursday to free the two Chinese engineers held hostage in the country's northern tribal region. The operation left one hostage dead and the other injured.
Aziz, describing Pakistan and China as friendly neighbors and saying Pakistan very much cherishes the friendship with China, told Wen that the Pakistan government undertook the operation under extremely tough situation.
The Pakistan government and people are greatly regretful and sorrowful for the death of the tragic accident, he said.
Aziz also extended deep condolences of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese government and people.
Wen said President Hu Jintao and the Chinese government attached great importance to the hostage issue, and the safety of the abducted engineers has been a concern to all Chinese people.
The Chinese people felt greatly grieved for death of one of the abducted Chinese engineers, he said, noting that the Chinese government strongly condemned the terrorist act of kidnapping Chinese citizens.
Wen hoped China and Pakistan could carry out close cooperation in handling the aftermath of the kidnapping and urged the Pakistani side to take further strong measures to ensure the safety of Chinese organizations and citizens in Pakistan.
Gunmen kidnapped the two engineers, Wang Ende and Wang Peng, near Jandala in Pakistan's South Waziristan Tribal Agency bordering Afghanistan On Oct. 9. The engineers had been working on a water dam and a canal for the China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group Corporation.
All the five abductors, allegedly linked to al Qaeda, were killed in a shoot-out with the Pakistani troops in Thursday's rescue operation.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2004)