Mansehra: A Chinese citizen was taken into custody by the police in Mansehra, Pakistan, after being accused of blasphemy by a mob. However, the citizen denied making any remarks that could offend the religious sentiments of Muslims or the people of Kohistan. He said he was arrested under false charges and would never intentionally offend Pakistanis or Muslims.
The Chinese citizen is being kept in Police Lines in Abbottabad, which has been declared a sub-jail with increased security. The government formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the matter as it was the third attempt to sabotage the Dasu hydropower project worth 3,420 megawatts.
The JIT had previously investigated an attack on a bus carrying Chinese nationals to the dam sites in 2021, which resulted in the deaths of 13 people, including nine Chinese citizens, and a fire that broke out at a Chinese worker’s residential camp earlier this month.
Beijing has stated that it is currently checking and confirming the situation regarding the Chinese citizen arrested on blasphemy charges.
However, an interpreter has raised doubts about the alleged sacrilegious remarks made by the accused. According to insiders, the Chinese national will most likely be presented before an anti-terrorism court in Abbottabad on Thursday for further proceedings.
During the alleged blasphemy case investigation, the police team questioned the interpreter, Mohammad Yasir, who was responsible for filing the FIR. Yasir expressed his uncertainty about the exact nature of the sacrilegious remarks made by the Chinese national.
He also claimed that the labourers during the incident pressured him to maintain his previous statement. In the meantime, Chinese engineers and workers have resumed their work at the project site, which was previously halted due to protests demanding the arrest of the Chinese citizen.
An FIR was registered at the Kamila police station, Upper Kohistan, under Sections 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 6/7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Chinese foreign ministry is currently checking and confirming the situation regarding its national and has stated that it will provide consular protection and assistance within the scope of its duties if the issue involves a Chinese citizen.