CPEC is in the headlines and for the wrong reasons this time around.
In a viral video shared on social media yesterday, Chinese engineers working on the M4 Motorway between Faisalabad and Multan, were shown getting into a violent altercation with police officers. The project falls under CPEC and the incident took place near Kabirawala tehsil of Khanewal.
At first, the engineers got into a heated argument with the officers, which escalated into a physical assault.
The reports mention that the Chinese workers tried to leave their camp without proper security. The police officers at the site tried to stop them from leaving fearing for their safety, which annoyed the engineers enough to get into an argument.
One of the project engineers, Danny, threw a chair at the squad in charge of the police, and one of the Chinese citizens climbed on to the police vehicle. Moreover, the Chinese cut off the power supply to the police camp as retaliation.
The police then locked them up in their camps to diffuse the situation.
Afterward, Assistant Commissioner Kabirawala and Deputy Superintendent of Police got wind of the news and held discussions with the engineers to resolve the situation. The Chinese, however, refused to cooperate and the situation is still tense at present.
Here’s the video of the incident, courtesy of ExpressNews:
Following the incident and after a lot of social media backlash, the authorities took notice of the situation and pledged to take prompt action.
According to a report by a media outlet on Friday, an inquiry was conducted by Khanewal District Police Officer (DPO), Rizwan Umar Gondal, and the Chinese officials have been declared guilty.
Following the conclusion of the inquiry, DPO suggested the Punjab government to deport the culprits, which also includes the project manager of the foreign company.
Rizwan Umar added:
Since the officials fall in A category, the company must be directed to follow the standard operating procedures regarding security and provision of allied arrangements as conveyed to them.
So far, there has been no word from the Chinese embassy regarding the incident or the deportation of their citizens. However, prompt action from the Pakistani authorities has been applauded by many people.